Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sunday Savings #1

I've been planning to do a series of posts on here about my thrift shop finds since it's something Daniel and I do every Sunday, but I hadn't been able to decide on a name. I finally came up with some ideas and asked Daniel for his opinion, and he liked "Sunday Savings", and suggested that I look up the regular retail price of the things I buy to compare what I got them for - so that's exactly what I'm going to do!

First up is five SpongeBob DVDs that I got for $1 each at Cash Converters. I don't usually buy DVDs since I have Netflix, and I honestly don't watch a lot of TV anyway, but I love SpongeBob and had to have them. I am still a child at heart, and SpongeBob is full of nostalgia and innocent jokes that makes it perfect for days that I'm stressed and need a lighthearted distraction.

I looked up the same titles on the JB Hi-Fi website and found four of them for $9.98 each, so I'm going to assume that the last one would be the same price as it has the same amount of episodes.

Total spent: $5
Total saved: $44.90

Next up is two books from Savers, since that's the first section I go to whenever I'm there. I usually spend a very. long. time. in the book section, looking at the spine of every single book in the fiction, non-fiction, biography, art, and collectibles sections, but we'd already had a very big day, and still had to go food shopping, so I merely skimmed today - but I still managed to find a book I have been DYING to read.

Amy Poehler is a fantastic human being and a hilarious actress/comedian, and I've heard amazing things about her book "Yes Please", so when I saw it for $3.99, instead of $32.99 from Dymocks, I actually gasped out loud.

The second book I bought is called "Chinese Cinderella", which I hadn't heard of before, but I instantly knew it was about a rough upbringing as it was in the biography section, plus the use of the word "Cinderella" - and a quick glance at the blurb proved me right. As much as I get affected by sad stories quite easily, I'm still always intrigued by them, so I decided to pick it up. From Dymocks it is $19.95, but I got it for $2.99.

Total spent: $6.98
Total saved: $45.96

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I couldn't find the last three items online as two were tops and one was a bag, and, presumably, they are not sold in stores anymore. One of them was a white blouse/top from Ally Fashion and, while I couldn't find an exact match in their store, I found a similar styled top for $19.99. Considering I only spent $4.99, I was very happy.

The second top was from the brand "Now", which is from Kmart. Kmart does not have a very big online catalogue - in fact, it's TINY - but judging by what I know about Kmart prices, and the fact that is is just a simple striped top, I'd guess it would have been priced at $10-$15. I got mine for $3.99. (Did I mention I LOVE thrift shopping? Because I really do.)

The last item is an adorable pink bag with a bow on it, which does not have a tag or brand or even one word written on it ANYWHERE. There's not even an indication of a tag having previously been there and then cut off (which leads me to believe that it was a quite cheap bag), but regardless, I got it for $5.99, and I'm pretty in love with it, so I don't mind either way!

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There will inevitably be weeks where I don't find anything when I go thrift shopping, or perhaps I'll only find one or two things. When that happens, I'll include past thrift shop finds that I think are worth sharing as, I have said before, at least 90% of my belongings were thrifted, and I've found some truly gorgeous stuff that no one ever realises is secondhand.

Feel free to share some great thrift shop finds of yours in the comments below.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 26 August 2016

Adventure #2: St. Kilda Beach

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

Adventure #1: Hot Chocolate Festival @ Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery

Today, my boyfriend (Daniel) and I visited the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery (or, as I will refer to it from here on, the Chocolaterie) 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 8 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 over any other flavour.

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 (with is actually just 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 - except that their chocolate tastes exceptionally good, so these drinks were 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, Australia 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 (ie: it was probably too crowded/I may have been distracted by all the sweets around me) were all the ice creams available - which was a lot, and they all looked delicious, but it was far too cold to even think about trying one - and the big glass windows that you walked passed to see into the kitchen where they make all the chocolate, and also have large chocolate "ornaments" on display.

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 with all my other pink, girly, "artsy" pieces) 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 novelties, and I do love seeing all the different things 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

The Beginning

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