BREAKFAST AT HUFF BAGELRY, MELBOURNE

One thing I could eat every day for the rest of my life? Bagels. I went through an obsession in my second year of uni where that’s all I would eat, so imagine my excitement when Issy took me to a cafe dedicated entirely to bagels in Carnegie, Melbourne. Her Mum brought some home every morning for our breakfast which was super nice, and although I’m a picky eater and usually stick to plain or wholemeal, the onion and poppyseed bagels were my absolute favourite.


It wasn’t until my penultimate day in Melbourne that we actually sat in to eat. At first I thought, ‘how many bagels could there possibly be?’ and ‘will they only do bagels on their own? Or will there be proper breakfast meals with them?’. As we walked in the queue was already huge and there were no free tables in sight, but it didn’t take too long for a space to become available for us. I was spoiled for choice with the menu, ranging from sesame to blueberry and choc-chip bagels (I didn’t even know the latter two were a thing), alongside classic breakfast meals such as scrambled egg, a tuna melt, and a ‘Summer Brekky Bagel’.


Although the onion and poppyseed had been my favourite all week, I opted for the scrambled egg with a sesame seed bagel and an English breakfast tea (spot the Pommie). Even though I went with a simple option, it was still bloody delicious and kept me full for hours thereafter.


I was so sad to leave Huff Bagelry behind, so I’m hoping there’s a bagel cafe somewhere in Manchester that I’m yet to discover or someone gets the bright idea to open one themselves asap.

Until next time,
Liv

xo

EXPLORING MELBOURNE: HOSIER LANE

Hello hello! Now that I’ve got wifi back I can share with you all my little adventure to Melbourne a few weeks ago. I had heard countless times that Melbourne is way better than Sydney and that once I go I’ll ask myself why I stayed in the latter for so long. Now that I’ve actually been there I can say that this is 100% true. I really don’t know why it took me eight months to go visit the place, it stole my heart in so many ways and I wish I could have stayed there longer. This is the first in a series of Melbourne posts so I really hope you guys enjoy reading about what I got up to.

One of the main things Melbourne is known for is its crazy street art, so of course I was going to visit its most famous street and see it all for myself. Hosier Lane is just a short walk from Flinders Street station and Federation Square, and is lined with the most spectacular pieces of graffiti. Street art is widely celebrated here, which was refreshing to see, and the pieces of art were insanely good, making a once-normal laneway into an outdoor exhibition.

Just off Hosier Lane is Rutledge Lane, where not only are the buildings covered in graffiti, but also the wheelie bins that line the walls. Of course there were a ton of tourists (including Josh and I) walking along and taking photos, but it wasn’t so busy that I couldn’t stop to take some of my own and appreciate just how wonderful my surroundings were.


It was so nice to see graffiti art be appreciated as actual art, rather than just vandalism that makes a place look scruffy (which was most definitely not the case), and if you’re looking for things to do while you’re in Melbourne then Hosier Lane should be at the top of your list.

Until next time,

Liv

xo

STRAWBERRY PICKING @ BEERENBERG FARM

Good morning/evening wherever you are in the world! Aside from Fringe Festival, strawberry picking at Beerenberg Farm was also on my to-do list whilst in Adelaide. I had been told that this farm, located just outside the German town of Hahndorf, produces a really well known jam brand in Australia, and that it attracts a ton of visitors keen to pick and fill their punnets with the tastiest strawberries for themselves.

As a backpacker I wanted to see what fruit picking would be like, even if it was just for lesuire and not for regional work with the pressure of time and making money. This was a super fun way to try it out and made for a good day out away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Entry to the strawberry fields cost $4 for an adult, free for children, and your punnets are weighed at the end, costing $9 per kilo. This works out to be more expensive than just buying them from a store but then you wouldn’t get the experience of picking them yourself right from the plant. Plus you can choose the best looking ones and Poppy came out looking like a serial killer from the amount of strawberries she had shoved into her mouth along the way.


It was so much fun hunting down the biggest and most vibrant strawberries, although I couldn’t do it all day long as it would kill your back! It didn’t take us long to fill our punnets to the brim, so we made our way back to the shop by the main entrance to pay and I couldn’t resist buying a jar of homemade strawberry jam to take home.

If you decide to visit Adelaide head to Hahndorf to explore the town and go strawberry picking yourself, or if you know of anywhere near your town that offers the experience, give it a go!

Until next time,

Liv

xo

ADELAIDE FRINGE FESTIVAL: THE GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS

Hello hello! Last week Sophie and I embarked on a 14 hour road trip through the Aussie outback to Adelaide. It was a super fun week and I got to see a city I had never originally planned to visit. I had a list of things I really wanted to see and do while we were there, and Fringe Festival was at the top of that list.

Full of energy that was not at all dampened by the rain, the Garden of Unearthly Delights was the perfect set up for carnival-like venues and quirky stalls.  The street leading up to the entrance had been blocked off so no cars could pass through, so the sidewalk was full of outdoor seating for bars and restaurants, whilst the road itself was packed with people making their way to the Garden. Down one alley a pop-up bar had been put together using the scaffolding attached its neighbouring building, which looked so cool and definitely deserved a 10/10 for creativity.


As we walked into the Garden itself, the lights dangling from trees brought a magical feeling to the place already. Instantly I noticed the British double decker bus that had been turned into a bar, and an old single that was now a thrift store. Once again, top marks for imagination. The same can also be said for the rest of the venue. Every food and drink stall brought its own unique design, including Mojitos being served from a decked out caravan. I couldn’t resist buying some freshly cooked donuts from the hut next to the big top tent, and when I say “some” I mean 6. Whoops.

‘Market City’ offered a variety of shed-like shops selling clothes, handmade crafts, and Henna body paintings. I bought a super cute dream catcher for $15. It’s small enough to fit neatly in my suitcase or hand luggage when I fly home, but I would have gladly bought the larger version if travelling with it wasn’t an issue.

The Garden of Unearthly Delights wasn’t just food and drink stalls, there were ticketed shows and sideshows going on in all the venues scattered about, but I was happy just wandering around the garden itself.

Although Adelaide’s Fringe Festival has now packed up for the year, I would definitely recommend visiting during their 2018 season whether it’s to go and watch their performances or just bask in the wonder that is the Garden of Unearthly Delights,

TO THE PLACE I CALLED HOME


First of all, I apologise for being inactive over the past month. A couple of days after New Year I became really homesick and got myself worked up over what to do or where to go next now that my reason for staying in Sydney for so long had passed. However everything is sorted now and I’ve got my motivation back!

If someone had said to me a few years ago that I’d be living in Sydney for 5 months after graduating university I would have called them crazy. However since arriving in Australia this city been my home away from home and I’ve gotten to know the place like the back of my hand. My initial plan was to stay until the start of January so I could celebrate Christmas and New Year here and tick it off my bucket list, but I ended up staying an extra month, not just because it’s become my security blanket but because of the people I’ve met who have made it what it is.

I stepped out of my comfort zone when I arrived as a solo traveller, but made a load of new friends when I moved into Wake Up. I met my best friend here who I’ll be travelling the east coast with and going to live with her and her family for a month in Vermont, US. I saw two of my favourite DJs, Paul van Dyk and Eric Prydz, live and experienced my first proper festival. I tried sushi for the first time and ate it so much that Sushi Hub gave me a discount card and already knew my order each time I walked up to the counter. Queuing for two hours to get Rush tickets for Aladdin the Musical was so worth it and I would 100% recommend it if you ever get the chance. I spent Christmas Day on a beach and brought in 2017 watching the Harbour fireworks.

Living in a hostel meant spontaneous plans were always popping up, like when Maya, Kim and I took a trip to Skyzone trampoline park after deciding to go only half an hour prior, or when Maya, Meg, George, Worm and I got bored so we went and bought Monopoly, and let’s not forget MOANA SING-ALONGS! Albeit we got some odd looks playing friendship-wrecking board games in reception or the kitchen but when the hostel is basically your home you’re going to start treating it as such. And at the end of January I celebrated Australia Day even though I’m not a citizen, but hey it was a nice day out with nothing but good vibes. 

There are so many more amazing things I’ve done in Sydney but I’m sure no one wants to read an endless list. But now it’s time for me to move on and start my regional work, and although it stressed me out to no end finding a place to go (already breaking my new year’s resolution to worry less) I found the loveliest family in Orange, NSW. I’ll still be posting my unpublished drafts about Sydney such as the best things to do there and how to live in the city on a budget etc. because I feel it would be a waste of writing not to, and I hope it will help other travellers alike find their place in the big city.

So for now Sydney I bid you farewell, but don’t worry I’ll be back to visit soon enough.

Liv

xo

VLOG: TICKING OFF MY BUCKET LIST AND SPENDING NYE IN SYDNEY

Hello everybody and happy new year! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to 2017 and have a ton of exciting things planned for the year ahead. Within the next few days I’ll be publishing my New Year’s resolutions post, which is currently sat waiting to be edited, so keep an eye out for that!

Last week I finally bought the Canon Powershot G7X Mark ii which means I can start vlogging again, so what better way to kickstart the new year than to document New Year’s Eve in Sydney! I don’t want to go into too much detail about it because it’s all in the video, but it was such a good day/night and if you’re ever travelling Australia around this time you should head to Sydney for NYE, it certainly won’t disappoint! So without further ado, check out the vlog here!

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Until next time,
Liv
xo

REFLECTING ON 2016: MY TOP 10 HIGHLIGHTS

Hello everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are just as bummed as I am that we’ve got to wait a whole year to do it all again. The days between Christmas and New Year provide an excellent opportunity to reflect on the past year and consider one’s expectations for the future. Although 2016 seems to the world like a year that has brought nothing but doom and gloom, it’s also important to notice the positive things that have happened throughout the year.

For me 2016 has been a year full of chapters closing, new beginnings, and opportunities that have quite literally dragged me out of my comfort zone. Whilst reflecting on all of this I put together a list of 10 of my highlights from the past year. It was so hard to narrow it down and I’ve missed out so much from this post, but I doubt you guys would want to read a neverending list of them all.

1. In the first semester of my final year of University I somehow achieved 80 in my qualitative research methods module. This went along quite nicely with the 79 I got for statistics the year before and I was in pure shock when I found out. These modules, no matter how tedious and stressful they might have been, were really important to be as I need them to stand out on my transcripts for my future PhD applications. At a time when I was so stressed it reminded me that hard work really does pay off.

2. Being on my university’s Advanced Irish and Intermediate Contemporary dance teams was so much fun, but the absolute highlight of my dance career this year was at Liverpool University’s dance competition, where our Irish team debuted our Lord of the Dance routine. Nothing can even compare to the feeling I got when we finished and looked out to see the audience and even the judges all cheering and giving us a standing ovation. We then went on to win first place at both Liverpool and Manchester’s comp!

3. In March the University of Manchester’s Surf Society went on an Easter surf trip to Feurteventura. Those 10 days were some of my best from this year and if I had the money I would gladly catch a flight out to wherever they decide to go for their 2017 trip. UMSC was such a big part of my final year of uni, and even now I still miss them all so much.

4. Graduating from university was a definite highlight from my year. The day itself was great and to spend it with my family and friends made it even more special. Everyone had worked so hard over the past 3 years and graduating felt like the end of an era, which was sad but at least I can now say I have a degree in Psychology from a Russell Group university.

5. Living at Willesden Ave for half the summer was something I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Peter, Dale and Zim were some of the messiest yet most wonderful housemates, and I always find myself missing living with them (and Sophie, Taylor and Asa, haven’t forgotten you guys). Having the morning after debriefs in our duvet burritos, beating Peter multiple times at NBA 2K16 (I’m still in denial that I lost), and  cooking chicken nuggets at 2am whilst watching Wasted on E4 is something I actually really miss.

6. In August I took a 5 day trip to Madrid to visit Oscar before I left for Australia. I had never been there before and it was such a beautiful city. While I was waiting to be picked up after my flight I explored El Retiro park and stumbled across a huge, and I mean huge, crowd of people sat on the steps next to the lake. I later found out it was a Pokestop… Over the next few days I got to see the Temple of Debod, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, the Royal Palace, and got to eat at the Mercado de San Miguel. Watching Suicide Squad at a Spanish cinema was pretty cool, but at least it was in English with Spanish subtitles. Even now Oscar doesn’t find my Cazafantasmas joke funny…

7. Aside from graduating, the biggest and most definitely the scariest thing I’ve done this year is jet off on my Australian adventure all on my own. Doing this has so far taken me way out of my comfort zone, and although I still get homesick from time to time I’m proud of myself for plucking up the courage to move to the other side of the world.

8. Getting a job at Wake Up hostel in Sydney has to be one of the luckiest things to have happened to me since being in Australia, especially because it’s so expensive to live in this city. When I tell people I live and work in a hostel they don’t seem too impressed, but Wake Up is one of the best hostels in Australia, it’s more like a hotel, and it now feels like home. We’re basically family here and when we all start going our separate ways in January I’m going to be so sad. To keep this to a nice list of 10 I’m going to go ahead and add the staff boat party onto this one, which you can read about here.

9. Spending Christmas Day on Coogee Beach was different to say the least. A few of us went to Helen’s house first for a big roast that she so kindly cooked and I think that was the first proper meal I’ve had in four months. Maya and I then spent the rest of the day on the beach as the grassy area at Coogee was too crowded and not really our vibe. I’m glad I got to experience one Christmas away from home but I couldn’t do it again. If I stayed here permenantly I’ll be coming home for two weeks every year.

10. Over the past week I’ve been receiving all the packages my Mum had sent me for Christmas and today I received a card and a letter from my Dad. I can’t even describe the joy that I’ve felt every time I’ve gone down to reception to see that I’ve got mail, and when reading the card my Mum sent me and the letter from my Dad I had to fight back tears. Being so far away from home makes the small things matter so much more. Two of the items my Mum put in my package was a big bar of Dairy Milk and Galaxy chocolate and I was so happy (Cadburys taste horrible in Aus and they don’t even sell Galaxy). Also I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to see a pack of Custard Creams!

So there you have it, 10 highlights from my year! I know I’ve missed off a lot and after I’ve published it I’ll probably remember something really big that I should have put on the list, but reading this makes me realise how lucky I am to have had these experiences. Here’s to a just-as-wonderful 2017!

See you guys in the new year,

Liv

xo

BLOGMAS DAY 24: CHILDHOOD CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

It’s Christmas Eve everyone this is not a drill, welcome to Blogmas day 24! In less than 24 hours, or 12 hours by the time I’ve published this post, I’ll be sat on Coogee beach wearing my swimsuit and a Santa hat enjoying the hot weather and good company. Christmas has always been my favourite time of year and the memories that accompany the season are just as wonderful.

I really wish I had more old photos at the ready so I could give myself and you guys a good chuckle, but for now a written collection of some childhood memories and the photos my Mum was able to dig out and send pictures of at such short notice will have to do. I don’t actually have the memory of one of these stories because I was so young but my Mum always tells me about it and there are photos somewhere back home to go along with it.


You know how most kids run downstairs at the break of dawn and rip all the wrapping off their presents? Yeah I didn’t do that. My Mum was always left baffled as to why I would come downstairs in the morning, have breakfast, and then take my time to unwrap all my gifts. It would take me hours and whenever she’d ask why I’d say I was appreciating the moment, which is a little deep for a child, but I enjoyed going through what was under the tree at my own pace because if I rushed it then it would be over too quickly and I’d have to wait another year to do it all again.

Back in infant school I was always cast as a Shepard for the Nativity play, which would involve wearing a teatowel on my head and not actually having any lines to say. But in year 2 I was finally cast as the lead angel, and thus my climb to stardom begun, I mean just look how smug I am in this photo:

Something I’ll never forget though is how every year until I was around 12/13 I’d be ill on Christmas Day. You can imagine how annoying this got as a kid when all I wanted to do was open presents (albeit slowly) and play with the toys I had received. I remember one Christmas where I had to take a break and nap between opening them because I was too ill and lethargic to enjoy it. That sucked and I’m sure my Mum didn’t enjoy watching me like that either. Although one funny thing that came of being ill when I was 1 was that me, my Mum and Dad went to Charlie Chalks (does anyone else remember that place?!) and I sipped a bit of my Dad’s pint of beer and proceeded to throw up in it. Every time one of them tells me about it it makes them laugh, and even to this day nothing has changed because I still don’t like to drink. I was a happy baby/toddler, but who wouldn’t be with a gigantic polar bear teddy?

Even today I still make that face… Watching the fireworks from every major city on the news is something we’ve done every year, and I’ve always wanted to celebrate the countdown in every one of those places. This year I’ll finally get to tick one of those off the list by spending New Year’s Eve in Sydney watching the harbour bridge fireworks.

Something I will miss tomorrow is watching all the Christmas specials of both programs I watch all the time like Mrs Brown’s Boys, and shows that I only watch the Christmas episode of, like Doctor Who. I’m sure I can catch up on them some other time though, but to be honest Doctor Who scared the crap out of me until a few years ago, so at least I’ll have a break from being traumatised this year.
Until tomorrow guys,

Liv

xo

BLOGMAS DAY 23: LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS CHECKLIST


Hello and welcome to Blogmas day 23! It’s Christmas Eve Eve which means last minute preparations are being made for the 25th. I’ve been really productive today and finished my last bits of presents shopping and even got them all wrapped ready for Sunday, so that’s one thing I can tick off my to-do list. In light of this I thought now would be a good time to make a checklist of any last minute tasks that still need completing, not just for myself but for you guys too.

  1. Make sure all gifts have been bought and wrapped.
  2. Have you written all your Christmas cards? Is there anyone else that might have slipped your mind who you need to write one for?
  3. Have you bought all the food you need for a big breakfast and a Christmas roast? Don’t forget the festive snacks!
  4. Christmas crackers! You can’t have a Christmas roast without crackers to pull before you dig in. The festive crown hats usually come in the crackers so you don’t have to worry about those.
  5. Have you memorised the TV schedule for Christmas Day? Or at least highlighted all the festive films and Christmas specials you want to watch? It saves so much time on the day and avoids any family disputes over the TV remote.
  6. Are your Christmas decorations so over the top you could put even the citizens of Whoville to shame?
  7. There better be some sort of festive clothing in your wardrobe! Whether you’re spending the day in your PJs, dressing up nicely, or wearing a tacky Christmas jumper, have you made sure you’ve got what you need?
  8. Last but not least, are you in the Christmas spirit? 

If your answers are yes to all of the above then yay you’re ready for Christmas Day! Is there anything I’ve missed off the list or anything you have on your checklist that’s different from mine? Let me know in the comments below!
Until tomorrow,

Liv

xo

BLOGMAS DAY 22: MY TOP 10 FAVOURITE THINGS ABOUT CHRISTMAS

Hello everybody and welcome to Blogmas day 22! Spending the festive season in a hot country has really made me appreciate the little things that I enjoy so much about Christmas, so I thought why not round up my top ten things I love about this time of year!

1. Chocolate for breakfast
Christmas is the only acceptable time of year where the first thing I eat when I wake up is chocolate and I won’t feel guilty about it. I’m such a chocolate lover so I’m surprised at how patient I am when it comes to waiting for each day to open a new door on my advent calenders. Once the 25th passes I should probably cut down on the sugary snacks, but for now I’m happily enjoying all the foods and sweets that only come out over Christmas.

2. Christmas films
Even when you have a movie on DVD it still feels better to watch it when it’s on TV. Festive films never fail to cheer me up when I’m down or even just make me feel all warm and cosy inside. There are a few films I’m still yet to watch for the first time ever, like Love Actually and It’s A Wonderful Life, so I think that’ll be on my to-do list over the next two days.

3. Snuggling into bed with a hot drink and a good book
Okay so I know you can do this any time of the year but there’s something about doing it around Christmas that makes it all the more special, especially when it’s a Christmas book like Let It Snow or a hot chocolate in a big mug topped with mini marshmallows.

4. Decorating anything and everything
From fairy lights to tinsel, from Christmas trees to wreaths, I love decorating my room for the holidays! Putting up the tree back home is something I love doing with my Mum and last year she surprised me and bought loads of new decorations which was super cute. After Christmas passes I usually leave the fairy lights up because they’re so pretty and it technically doesn’t need to be Christmas to have them up.

5. Buying gifts
I’m so bad at knowing what to buy for people but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. Apart from my parents the only person I’ve bought presents for this year is Maya. We had a $50 limit but I’ve got the feeling she’s spent way over that, and if I had the money I would gladly buy her all the things I’ve seen that I think she would like.

6. Christmas music
Because who doesn’t love a good sing-along to festive anthems in the shower or in the car?

7. Knitwear
I miss wearing fluffy socks, snug mittens, and ugly Christmas jumpers. If I wore them in Sydney I’d probably pass out (although it was quite cold at 19 degrees the other day), but I just love how comfy they are!

8. Christmas Adverts
In a previous post I listed my favourite Christmas adverts of 2016. Whenever I watched TV back home and a festive ad would come on it would make me so excited for the season, or if it was a heartfelt ad I would quite literally feel my heart melting.

9. Vlogmas/Blogmas
Watching/reading people’s vlogmas/blogmas posts is something I’ve only just gotten into this year but already it’s one of the things I look forward to every day in December! I’m really pleased I decided to partake in Blogmas this year and I’m proud I’ve kept up with it everyday. I would have done vlogmas too but I won’t be getting my camera until next week (yes I’m finally getting it!).

10. The festive feeling
You know the feeling? The little bubble of happiness and excitement whenever you see Christmas decorations or your favourite festive advert comes on TV? Or when you hear the first few notes to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ and you have to drop everything you’re doing just to sing along like you’re performing it at Wembley (albeit a very out of tune performance)? Yeah that feeling. It’s my favourite.

Ta-da! 10 of my favourite things about Christmas all in one lovely little list! There’s so much more I love about the season it was hard to narrow it down. What’s a few of your favourite aspects of Christmas? Let me know in the comments!

Until tomorrow,
Liv
xo