Friday, 30 September 2016

Last Friday night I slept for a good 12 hours, after a week of not being able to sleep properly, and didn't get up until 1pm the next day - when Daniel told me he really wanted to go to the zoo, and he wanted to go now. Me being me, always up for an adventure, jumped out of bed and we rushed to the station to start our (very late) day.

It was nearly 3pm by the time we got to the zoo, and we knew we wouldn't be able to see everything before it closed, so we decided to splurge and get annual passes so we could come back again the next day.

We quickly walked around and tried to see as much as we could. We managed to see the penguins when it was their feeding time, which is always interesting, but the next day was even better.

We got up early, packed some sandwiches, and prepared for a very big day. I thought we had seen nearly everything the day before, but I was wrong. We started with the reptiles and saw the small tortoises chomping away at their leaves. Seeing animals eat (or even just yawn or blink) always turns Daniel and I into kids again, and makes us make these high pitch noises that somewhat translate to the word "aww".

This is mine and Daniel's third trip to the zoo since we've been together, but it was the first time we'd ever seen the otters, and it completely made my day. Otters are definitely up there with some of my favourite animals (as well as turtles/tortoises, penguins, frogs, etc), and I love that they mate for life and have a favourite pebble that they keep! It's just too cute to handle.

We also discovered that there's a Japanese garden within the zoo, which was absolutely breathtaking. I managed to take a couple of polaroids there, plus a few others around the zoo (don't worry, I didn't take any of the animals because the flash would've scared them).

It was such a great weekend. I love animals, and I love seeing Daniel around animals. It always makes him so happy. I have a framed photo of him on our bedside table of when we were at the petting zoo at the Melbourne Show in 2014, and he's got the biggest smile on his face. It's so adorable.

Anyway, I better stop before I completely embarrass him. I truly do recommend going to the zoo if you're able to. It's not that expensive compared to the aquarium, and you get to see so much more. However, there is usually quite a line, so it's much better to pre-pay your tickets or annual pass online, and skip the queue.

Until next time,
Indya xx

♡ Related posts: Butterflies and Japanese Gardens 

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

I am a sucker for mementos; things that remind me of an old adventure, or even just a really great day. I collect souvenirs from every place I visit, I take as many photos as possible, and I make sure to document every day that my heart feels full, either in a blog post or in my journal.

I really do romanticise so many parts of my life. I get very attached to memories and moments, which may seem silly to some people, but it has really helped me to start enjoying life. I can't believe there was a time that I dreaded to even open my eyes. Of course, back then, I wouldn't have believed there'd be a time where I'd look forward to doing so, but I'm so glad I stuck around to see it happen.

As I've mentioned many times, I am collector of many things, and I plan to do many more collection posts in the future that will be a lot larger, but for today's post I thought I would talk about my Pandora charms, and the meaning and/or memory behind each one.

I can't remember the exact order that I got them in, but I do know roughly, so I will try to talk about them in order from oldest to newest. I first got my Pandora bracelet when I was around 14-15, so my first few charms I got merely because I thought they were cute, rather than the fact that they represented a certain memory.

My heart, snake, ghost, dice and soccer ball charms were some of the first charms that I got, mostly because whenever I drew idly in class in the corner of my notebooks, it would be one of those things. I'm not sure why, but those things just stood out to me. Especially soccer balls - all my life I have despised sport, but I love soccer balls and I have no idea why!

The next three I got were a letter "I" (because my name starts with I, obviously), a purple glass charm, and a dangly pink heart. All of them are still quite basic, but I felt that they put a little bit more "me" into my bracelet.

After those, I got my "16" charm for my 16th birthday, and my "18" charm for my 18th birthday. Celebrating merely ageing is kind of strange, considering you don't really have any control over being born or getting older, but there were times in my life where I didn't think I would make it to 16, and there were even more times in my life where I didn't think I would make it to 18. It just seemed so out of reach; so far away that I would just give up on life before I got there.

But I didn't. I made it to 18, and at the time I had a great boyfriend (who I am still with now), and hardly a care in the world. It was such a wake up call to how great my life had become compared to what it used to be, so those charms are more to me than just a way to subtly let people know that I really am over 18 (I recently got mistaken for 16, despite turning 20 this month).

My next charm has quite a cute story to it. It's a dangly charm of two hearts joined - which is mine and Daniel's "thing". You see, my 17th birthday was my first birthday with Daniel, and we had only been officially dating for 3 months, so I wasn't expecting anything too extravagant for my birthday (especially since he was a year 12 student who worked at a supermarket, as did I), but he got me a beautiful necklace (which he spent far too much on. It would take us hours to discuss whether it's worth spending that amount of money on anything now) of two hearts joined, and the words "I love you" on the side - which he didn't actually see when he bought it, so luckily we had already said it, or that would have been a tad awkward!

Anyway, when I opened it, I immediately loved it because it was so special and thoughtful and one of my first real pieces of jewellery (besides my Pandora bracelet) and, as I was fussing over it, he said "it's two hearts joined, just like us". I practically melted. Hardly any 18-year-old boys would say something like that, and I managed to find the one that did! I am so blessed. Since then, any time we see two hearts joined, we say it's "us", so when I asked for a Pandora charm for my birthday (because I am really slack on filling up my bracelet), it was an obvious choice to get the charm that had two hearts joined.

The last two were also from Daniel. A dangly Eiffel Tower, because I obviously love Paris (I kind of wish I waited until I had actually visited the Eiffel Tower before I got the charm, but there's plenty of travel-related charms that I can get to represent that memory), and another charm that consists of two hearts joined, because I can never have enough reminders of that sweet and adorable thing that my wonderful and shy boyfriend said to me when we were in high school.

I do love my Pandora bracelet. I can't wait until it's full and I can think back to all the memories that each charm represents. It's the little things in life that make it worthwhile.

Until next time,
Indya xx

P.S. You may have noticed there are two charms in the first photo that I did not talk about, and that's because they're not Pandora charms. The crayon box is from Chamilla and I'm not sure where the little dangly heart one came from as it was a gift!


Friday, 23 September 2016

I really do love art. Even if I often have trouble figuring out the underlying meaning behind it, I still find it fascinating and inspiring and gorgeous.

As much as I love older art (as cliche as it may be, I am a huge Van Gogh fan), I also quite enjoy contemporary and modern art. Even the aesthetic of art galleries pleases me - the white walls and the paintings laid out so nicely; I find it calming to be in a room filled with art.

I frequently visit the National Gallery of Victoria, but I felt like going somewhere new so, after some Googling, I had my sights set on the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

Even though it's only a 15 minute walk from Flinders Street, it feels like it's not in the city at all. The street it is located on was deserted, and there was hardly any noise around it. If you didn't know better, you would have no idea that there were countless trains, trams, buses and cars bumper to bumper just a few metres away. It was very peaceful and tranquil - even borderline spooky.

Admission is free - which is good considering there's only two rooms of art - and there's a small cafe inside as well. It wasn't anywhere near as busy as the NGV gets, but as I said, it's practically hidden away from the rest of the city.

Despite the visit only taking about 15 minutes, it was a nice little stop to take during a day out in the city. I really do love seeing art that I've never seen before, and I love learning the names of artists that I haven't heard of.

I know that people have their adversities to art, particularly contemporary and modern, but I just love that there are practically no rules.

If you create something, it's art - and I love that there's so many people out there who have so many feelings and thoughts that they just have to create something before they burst with emotion. I really do think being able to create and witness art in its infinite forms is one of the greatest things
about being human.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

It was my birthday on Friday, September 16th and, as unsettled as it makes me to think about the fact that I am now twenty, I did have a really great day. I woke up to the bedroom and lounge room being decorated in pink streamers, and filled with 50 pink and purple balloons, thanks to Daniel.

Before my birthday last year, Daniel remembered that his family would always decorate his and his siblings' rooms for their birthdays, and when I said that I never had that, he decided to do it for me - and now it's our tradition. Daniel gave me my card and presents, which included a DVD I picked out, 3 Pokemon NanoBlocks, and 2 sets of shelves.

After that, we went to San Churro to get my free birthday Churros for two (which is another tradition of ours, as of last year). I love the decor of San Churro, and the Churros were delicious, but I couldn't manage to finish them all!

We stayed at home for a while until we had to leave for dinner with my friends at Sut and Wine. It was great seeing everyone, especially those who I don't get to see as often. I honestly didn't expect any presents, but they all got me something, and what they got really showed how well they know me.

One of my best friends got me a Sailor Mars Pop Vinyl figure - which I had asked for, as she is by far my favourite Sailor Scout. I just love all the red she wears! Another friend got me a box of goodies including two journals, a bunch of Eiffel Tower things, and the card she got me even came with a packet of little pencils so you could colour in the picture on the front! So cute. I've just met this particular friend this year, so it was really warming to see how well she already knows me, and how much she pays attention to what I say!

Two other friends got me a bunch of make-up - which is fitting as I am a beauty student, of course - and one of the lip products is the most gorgeous shade of pink! Another friend, who I've known for 10 years now, got me a potted daffodil and wrote on the card, "To bring happiness into your home", which is honestly the sweetest thing in the world.

She also bought me TWENTY FOUR DONUTS, as pictured to the left, because I love donuts. I was so shocked; it was such an unexpected present, but a brilliant one. I don't really get to see this friend much (in fact, only once over the last year), but it's so nice to see that she clearly keeps up with me, since she knows about my obsession with donuts. I have the best friends.

I was so busy having fun with my friends over dinner that I completely forgot to take photos of them, the food, or the restaurant! I am constantly taking photos of everything, so I really must have been having a good time for me to completely forget. Over the last few years I have definitely become a homebody, but every time I see my friends I'm reminded of how lucky I am to have them in my life, and that I should see them more. The next day, Daniel and I went into the city for the day. We got a frappuccino at Starbucks, then had a quick bite to eat at McDonald's before heading to the aquarium.

If you have read my aquarium post, then you'll know that Daniel and I have annual passes to the aquarium, and if you're a fan of McDonald's (or even if you just have a TV), then you'll know that they've bought their Monopoly game back, where you peel off the stickers to see if it's an instant win, or a property. As luck would have it, we peeled off one of the little Monopoly stickers on our chips, and discovered that we had won... free entry to the aquarium! Of all things! It certainly made us laugh.

On the way home, I bought myself the Sailor Moon Pop Vinyl figure, since I loved the Sailor Mars one so much, before getting ready for a dinner out with my family at a Mexican restaurant called Carlos Cantina.The food was delicious (both things I ate were smothered in sour cream, salsa and guacamole - just how I wish my life was!) and the waitress we had was lovely, and really funny. It's always great seeing my family and making new memories - not to mention getting photos taken! I never need to worry about taking photos at family events, because everyone else is already doing it! Maybe that's where I get it from.

I got some really pretty cards that I'll most likely put up on my office wall soon, some money (that is already gone... whoops), a gift card (which I can spend at Kmart!!! I'm so excited) and a candle that smells incredible, and has a little pouch with some jewellery hidden within the wax! Such a unique idea.

My Nan also got me an ice cream cake, which I was really happy about because I didn't think I was going to get one this year (I had already spent a lot over the last few days and couldn't seem to justify buying a cake for just Daniel and I), plus the fact that it was an ice cream cake, which is definitely the best kind! I kept the candles as a memento (which is my excuse for hoarding pretty much everything), even though being 20 freaks me out.

All in all, I had a great birthday. I usually have really high expectations about things like this and tend to get let down, or let my constant habit of stressing get in the way of having fun, but I really did enjoy seeing everyone and getting out of the house - and instead of being bummed that my birthday is over for another year, I'm just going to focus on the events that I have within the next few months, and the fact that it will be Christmas before I know it!

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 16 September 2016

I love all things to do with baking and sweets, and that I go to the Cake Expo every year. Even though this year's Cake Expo came and went in March, I am already counting down the days until the next one, and I felt like writing a post about it.

The Cake Expo was one of the first real events that I attended in Melbourne, apart from the Melbourne Show, and it really opened my eyes to all the wonderful things that this city has to offer. Evidently, Melbourne has been named the "World's Most Liveable City" for the last six years, and I can definitely see why (I have always lived here though, so I don't really have anything to compare it to).

BB-8 Cake by Kevin Martin

Ever since I started writing articles and reviews for the website Weekend Notes, I always know what's coming up on Melbourne's busy schedule (which is a big reason why I finally started this blog).

One of the main attractions at the Cake Expo is the Cake Decorating Competition. Anyone can choose from the multiple categories to enter into, which include one tier, two tier, three tier, cupcakes, and novelty cakes. In my opinion, novelty and three tier are the categories with the cakes that will blow your mind, but every cake that is entered is gorgeous and far better than anything I will ever make.

The other fun part of the Cake Expo is looking around all the different stalls. Whether you're a baker yourself, or just a food appreciator, it's amazing to see how many different ideas people can come up within the world of sweets. Two of my favourite shops that I discovered when I visited this year were Yum-Mammas and Storytale Cakes, who are both located in Melbourne.

A quick browse through Yum-Mammas Instagram shows how talented they are and what big, extravagant cakes they can make, but I've got to tell you, it was their little novelty items that caught my eye at the Cake Expo.

They have the most adorable cookies that I've ever seen, pictured below, that I know if I bought any I would not be able to eat them without crying. Not to mention their "Unicorn Poop", pictured right, which I think is a brilliantly creative name, and definitely the only thing associated with the word "poop" that I would consider eating.

Now that I am getting more serious about my baking collection (and sort of more serious about actually baking), I am wishing that I had purchased some of the tools and gadgets that were for sale - or at least taken some photos to show you.

I remember an abundance of cookie cutters, cake tins and other decorating tools that I know I would practically be drooling over if I saw them now. At least I've got a while to save up for the next Cake Expo!

Something that I have purchased both years is a novelty ring. The first year I went I bought one in the shape of an Oreo cookie, and the second year I bought one in the shape of a purple macaron - completely forgetting until I got home that I had bought the cookie one the year before from the same stall. I guess I like what I like. Unfortunately, I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the stall I got it from. Next year I'll do a better job of noting down the names of stall holders!

Until next time,

Friday, 9 September 2016

Being in your 20's is a weird time in your life. My boyfriend and I are both working part time, and I am also currently at school, so money is a strange thing in our lives. Sometimes it feels like we have plenty, and other times it feels like we barely have any.

For example, we both have annual passes to the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium - but we don't have a bed frame, or a couch. I am aware that it appears as though our priorities are a little mixed up, but I feel like they aren't too bad. We don't need a couch since we don't watch TV and don't have people over, and we have a mattress, which I definitely think is the most important part of a bed.

please, no photos

Don't get me wrong, I do really want a bed frame. I despise mess and disorganisation, and seeing a mattress on the floor screams "untidy" (plus, I really need the space under the bed to store some empty boxes that we refuse to get rid of), but we don't own a trailer, so we're not sure how to get said bed frame to our house.

Anyway, my point is that when you're 20 and you have some money left over after bills, you want to spend it on something fun, not a piece of furniture that isn't going to enrich your life that much. So, Daniel and I bought annual passes to the Melbourne Aquarium.

pufferfish saying hi
Annual passes are $80 for those aged 16 and up, which enables you to walk in through the express line, flash your card, and by-pass the very, very, very long queue, 365 days a year - and since general entry is $41.50, you only have to go twice within 12 months to get your money's worth.

Daniel and I love animals, especially penguins, so we visit the aquarium every time we go to the city. I found that it's even better the second or third time you go, since you've already taken plenty of photos during the previous visits, so this time you can take a step back and truly appreciate just being there. Plus, you don't have to worry about trying to get a good photo whilst wading through a hundred others trying to do the same thing.

I refuse to believe that this isn't their face
There are a bunch of perks you get for having an annual pass as well, including 20% for up to four friends who visit the aquarium with you, 20% off Amazing Aquatic Experiences, 20% off all purchases in the Adventurer's Cafe (hey, sounds like it was made for me! Hah), 10% off Public Ticketed Events, 10% off all purchases from the Gift Shop, and $2 coffee from the Coral or Deck Cafe.

So, even though we don't have a bed frame, or a couch, we do have a special card that allows us to visit cute and little (and not-so-little) animals every single day of the year - and I still think we made a good decision.

Until next time,

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Del Kathryn Barton is one of the few artists I know of that is both alive and Australian, since the majority of artists whose work I am familiar with lived in the 1800's - Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, etc.
The Student

I love her bright, extremely detailed and feminine paintings. I first saw her work in the 2014 Romance Was Born exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria - and I just knew I had to visit her exhibition The Nightingale and the Rose at ACMI.

Publishing house Art & Australia invited Del Kathryn Barton to produce a series of works back in 2010 that would reinterpret a classic fairytale, so Del Kathryn, being a big fan of Oscar Wilde, chose his 1888 story The Nightingale and the Rose. For those who aren't familiar with the story, a nightingale (ie: a bird) overhears a male student saying that his professor's daughter will not dance with him because he cannot find a red rose to give to her.
The Nightingale

The nightingale feels for the poor student, and tries to find a red rose for him, but soon discovers that the only way to procure one is to sacrifice her life and use her heart's blood to dye the rose red (children's stories sure were different in the 1800's, weren't they?), which she does. The student brings the rose to the professor's daughter, but she rejects him once again because someone else gave her jewels and "everybody knows that jewels cost far more than flowers".

There are far more details to the story, which Del Kathryn brought to life with the help of Australian filmmaker Brendan Fletcher, but I don't want to give it all away.
The Professor's Daughter
Whilst I feel like I'm admitting to breaking some kind of law here, I have actually never read anything by Oscar Wilde, despite the great things I have heard about this work, but seeing this exhibition has definitely inspired me to change the fact in the near future.

I can only imagine how it would have felt to see this exhibition had I been familiar with Wilde's work and the story of The Nightingale; literally seeing the story come to life through a series of gorgeous paintings and animations would have been practically mind blowing, but nonetheless, the exhibition is still beautiful even when you go in completely blind-sighted and unfamiliar with its topic.

Plus, I am a strong believer that art can just be appreciated, and that it doesn't always have to be understood. The Nightingale and the Rose exhibition will be at ACMI until the 11th of September.

Until next time,
Indya xx