Friday, 26 August 2016

Yesterday I wasn't in the greatest state of mind. I had stressed myself out over two small things that really shouldn't have gotten to me that much, and I was practically miserable (plus a TV show I've been watching upset me as things are not turning out the way I want, but I digress). I even planned to go out after work and buy the new Reese's Pieces Krispy Kreme donut (I LOVE donuts and Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cups) to cheer myself up, then discovered that they aren't on sale until the 31st. A minor inconvenience, I know, but still - it was just not my day.

On the way home, Daniel suggested that we just drive around for a bit. I was not looking forward to the tasks that awaited me at home, so of course I jumped at the chance. I didn't care where we would go, I just didn't want to go home.

I figured we'd just go to this set of shops that we usually go to that has a lot of secondhand stores in it, as they are my favourite place to shop, but as soon as I saw the sign indicating that we were leaving our town, I realised that this was not what was happening.

Not wanting me to know where we were going, Daniel tried to just guess the way so he wouldn't have to Google it and get me to read out the directions, but soon he realised he had no idea where we were, so we pulled over and he entered the mystery address into our GPS - without me seeing - and we were on our way again. The whole way, I had no idea where we were going. The only clue he gave me was that I would be able to take some nice pictures, which would hopefully cheer me up.

After a short-ish drive, we passed the clown face at Luna Park and I realised where he was taking me. Daniel knows that, as much I don't like the ocean, sand or even swimming, I love the atmosphere of beaches. They are so beautiful and, especially at this time of the year, deserted. It was the perfect place to calm down and take my mind off things.

We found a place to park and walked around for a while. I took heaps of photos and we collected all some pretty sea shells. I drew our initials in the sand and we saw heaps of dogs running around, having the time of their lives. Soon enough the sun started to set and the sky went a gorgeous cotton candy pink colour. We also saw the Spirit of Tasmania, and how lit up it is at night time. Once the sun was gone, we headed home.

It was such a peaceful night, and such a lovely, caring thing of Daniel to do; whisking me away on a spontaneous adventure on a weekday. I love that after 3 years together, we're still just as content in each other's presence; and we're still surprising each other in the best of ways.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Today, my boyfriend Daniel and I visited the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery to "attend" its Hot Chocolate Festival. I used quotation marks as it is not really much of a festival, or even an event, it is merely the same building it usually is, but with a range of different hot chocolates for sale.

The Hot Chocolate Festival is an annual event at the Chocolaterie. Every August they have 31 different flavours of hot chocolate - some old, some new - with eight available each week. When I attended the event last year, I had a banana flavoured hot chocolate as banana is not only one of my favourite fruits, but also my favourite flavour of anything.

This year, I tried the Mint Madness (mint chocolate holds a special place in my heart - and mouth), and Daniel tried the Salted Caramel Popcorn.

As you may or may not be able to tell from the photo, the different flavours are merely due to some extra decorations that are put on top of their regular hot chocolates - which are actually just mugs of hot milk accompanied by a tiny tub of chocolate, as seen in the photo, which you are meant to whisk into the milk.

Daniel's hot chocolate had a handful of popcorn pieces, and mine came with a disk of chocolate with some mint flavouring drizzled throughout, which was delicious, but once you're finished with that, it's just like any old regular hot chocolate. Their chocolate does taste exceptionally good, so these drinks were still far from disappointing.

When lining up to order, you are mercilessly teased by the array of mouth-watering desserts that are on display. Last year I tried their trio mousse pictured on the far left, and it was incredible (but, as I do adore chocolate mousse in general, perhaps I was a little biased).

This year I aimed to buy more memorabilia rather than food, so I managed to walk past nearly all the desserts without caving... until I saw the macarons. In my defence, they were under $2, and I only bought one, so I still felt as though I did a good job.

There are a lot of cool things to buy at the Chocolaterie. Most people I saw had baskets full of items; it honestly looked as though they got one of everything. There are a lot of small, individual chocolates to buy, such as the ones pictured above, but there are also a lot of big ones too - such as a one kilogram block of chocolate, and a metre long block of chocolate, which I saw many people posing with.

Other novelties include giant chocolate freckles; Australian themed chocolates with names such as "Valley Bush Tucker"; gourmet chocolates with flavours such as "macadamia and salted caramel" (and whose wrapping features beautiful paintings of the Chocolaterie that one could nearly mistake for a Monet), plus a bunch of big hampers that are filled with a range of different items.

Some things that I didn't manage to get a photo of (probably because it was too crowded - or I was distracted by all the sweets around me) were all the ice creams available. There was a lot, and they all looked delicious, but it was far too cold to even think about trying one. There were also big glass windows that you walked passed to see into the kitchen where they make all the chocolate, alone with some large chocolate "ornaments" on display, that I wasn't able to photograph.

In the end, I didn't end up spending too much money. After I bought the two hot chocolates and the macaron, I picked up a gift tag and a card (that I will never use, but will rather blu tack onto my office wall) and a little bundle containing a Junior Hot Choc Moo Mug, a tiny whisk and some white chocolates in the shapes of gingerbread men - they even have little hearts outlined on their chest, it's almost impossible to eat them!

Even though it is a little pricey, and probably quite far for most people (it's roughly an hour from Melbourne CBD), I do recommend visiting the Chocolaterie at least once in your lifetime. It is a lot of happiness and excitement in one place - and not just because of the visitors, but the workers too.

I'm not usually a huge chocolate fan (apart from chocolate mousse and hot chocolates - which I have daily during winter), but I am a sucker for novelty things, and I do love seeing all the different ideas they come up with. Plus, there's just something magical about all that sweetness in one place.

Until next time,

Indya xx

Sunday, 14 August 2016

I've been toying with the idea of making this blog for quite some time, but could never figure out where to begin my first post, so I guess I'll just start with the basics.

My name is Indya, and to say life has been difficult for me so far would be an understatement, but that's not what this blog is about. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I want this blog to be centred around the moments I most enjoy in life: the adventures (both big and small, but, as I am currently a 19-year-old student, they are mostly going to be small), new discoveries, quality time spent with those who mean the most to me, etc.

I'm very active on my Instagram account, which is full of photos of all the things that make me happy, but as much as I love taking photos, they doesn't satisfy my need to put my feelings into words - which is where this blog comes in.

Another reason I wanted to make this blog is due to my struggles with remembering things. I'm not sure why, but I tend to forget a great deal of the things that I've done, or that have happened to me, which was one of the main reasons I started photographing everything, but that doesn't always help. A picture is supposed to say a thousands words, but sometimes I can look at a picture I have taken and not remember for the life of me when I took it, why I took it, or what I was feeling at that moment, and that really upsets me.

I want this blog to be a nice archive of memories that I can look back one day, and be able to read exactly what I saw, thought and felt at each moment. I hope my small adventures will be slightly entertaining and even uplifting at times, and I hope you'll stick around to watch them grow - and to watch me grow, too.

Until next time,
Indya xx