Monday, 31 October 2016

October In Snapshots

Yet another month of 2016 is over, which means there's only two more left until we're in 2017 - AKA the year I turn 21, which is absolutely terrifying. (I know that 21 is not old whatsoever, but it still really scares me.) Most days I still feel 12. In fact, I constantly forget that I am actually over 18. Just the other day I saw a DVD in a store that was R18+ and I thought, "Oh, I can't buy that" (not that I watch R rated movies anyway - too scary for me!) before releasing that I am in fact 20 years old.

Anyway, October wasn't particularly too busy for me or Daniel. My school closed, so I don't get to finish my diploma, which sucks, but I wasn't particularly enjoying it anyway. In fact, going to beauty school made me realise even more how much I love writing. Other than that, Daniel and I both worked, had a few small adventures, and saw some friends. Now that I realise how much I love my camera, I always have it with me, so I have some photos from this month to share with you. They're just simple photos of little things that caught my eye, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

In between taking photos, going for walks (now that the weather isn't always so bad!) and reading heaps, I have been writing a lot of blog posts. It's difficult to not post them each one day after another, but I'm trying to refrain from doing so in case I run out of ideas for a while and have nothing to post.

My number one goal is to have at least one post a week, on Fridays, which will most likely be an adventure or a collection post. I'm also planning on doing "What I Love Wednesday" posts - much like the ever-popular Friday Favourites/Wednesday Wishlist/Things I Like Thursday posts that lots of blogs do - which will hopefully be posted weekly, or at least every second week. Any other bonus posts will most likely be posted on Mondays so they are all evenly spread out, and Sunday Savings posts will pop up whenever I hit up the secondhand stores!

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 28 October 2016

Adventure #10: Cake Bake and Sweets Show

Last weekend Daniel and I attended the Cake Bake and Sweets Show. Similar to the Cake Expo, the Cake Bake and Sweets Show is a big event filled with different stalls and workshops that all fall into the baking category. I did find that the Cake Bake and Sweets Show had less food stalls than the Cake Expo however, instead choosing to focus on tools and decorations.

While I was busy going back and forth between all the stalls that sold cookie cutters trying to figure out which ones to add to my collection (I ended up getting two: a teapot and an ice cream), Daniel was strolling around with my camera taking some amazing photos of the stalls and displays - so you can thank him for all the beautiful photos in this post!

As well as stalls and workshops, there were also demonstrations by some previous MasterChef contestants (as well as one by this year's winner), and the Art of Cake Challenge, where bakers could submit cakes into a range of categories for the chance to win prizes. 

this cake makes me so nervous
a breathtaking galaxy cake that was on display
close up

The Art of Cake Challenge was definitely the highlight of the event for me. The cakes were amazing. had so much detail, I can't even imagine how long it would have taken to make them.

Art of Cake Challenge
Art of Cake Challenge
Art of Cake Challenge. This one is quite simple, but easily one of my favourites!

Events like these always make me want to start baking more, and actually use all the amazing things I own, while simultaneously making me feel like there's no point because I'll never be this good. I know I just need to remind myself that it's the process that matters. That as long as I have fun, it doesn't matter what the finished product is like - and also that practice makes perfect, of course, but I've always wished I could just be perfect at everything after my first try. Alas, that it not how the real world works so, for now, I'll just browse through my photos of these masterpieces and try to convince myself to actually get up and start baking!

Until next time,
Indya xx

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Mini Living Room Tour

I had all the intentions of writing a Sunday Savings post today, but I only bought two books (My Steve and Palo Alto), which really isn't enough to do an entire post about. However, I still felt like posting something today, so I decided to show some of my favourite parts of our living room.

Daniel and I have been living in this house (which is actually a unit, but I always refer to it as a house out of habit) since March, but it's still quite unfurnished, so I've been refraining from posting photos of it as it does look quite bare. However, there are some cute aspects of each room, so I'll just show you those parts for now.

These shelves are two of my favourite things in our house. The white ones on the left were from the Reject Shop, and they're mostly filled with cups and mugs that you would've seen in my collection post, as well as other various knickknacks, two lollie jars and a small gumball machine. 

The brown shelf on the right is my baking shelf. It's filled with an abundance of cake and cookie moulds, decorating items, cook books, a donut maker, a fondue fountain, and more. Eventually, we plan to paint the door pink as well, and the rest white, but that probably won't happen for a while because it took a very long time to sand down just the drawer and paint it.

A little look into the drawer of the baking shelf. The jar of salsa has a bunch of different nozzles for piping bags inside of it. I plan to do various collection posts about all the things in this shelf so I don't want to show you too much just yet.

A sneak peek into the cupboard of the baking shelf. I have so many different moulds for cakes and cupcakes, it makes me so happy to look at them all. I am really excited to do a collection post about them all, I'm just dreading having to photograph them all and then try to fit them all back in!

This is another shelf in a different corner of the living room. As you can see, it's mostly filled with various Eiffel Tower items (which is another future collection post), as well as photos of me and a few friends, and two clocks that I don't use (like most of my belongings). The cupboard underneath is where I keep my DVDs, which there really isn't many of. 

 On top: three cookie jars, which are part of a smaller collection of mine (one that used to be bigger, as was my collection of money boxes, but I downsized on those things a little while ago), and a canvas with my name on it that my uncle made me for my 18th birthday, since he knows I like graffiti. (If you stalk my Instagram back to 2014, you'll find quite a few photos of various graffiti pieces that I've found around Melbourne.)


I've recently discovered that the digital camera I bought about a year ago is actually a lot better than my phone, so I used that to take these photos. I have also learnt some basics about using Photoshop - I am quite late, I know - so hopefully the photos I use in my posts will get progressively better over time. I really do want to put everything I have into this blog. Writing makes me so happy, and there are so many blogs out there that I love to read, whose posts really interest me, and I want to people to feel like that about my blog one day.

I'm currently toying with other ideas for posts, as I cannot go on a new adventure every single week and I will eventually run out of collection posts to do (although it will take some time), but I also want to make sure that the things I post are 100% me, and are about things that I really do love, as passion and genuineness (which honestly doesn't sound like a real word, but it is) really does make a difference in someone's writing.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 21 October 2016

Adventure #9: Eureka Skydeck

Visiting the Eureka Skydeck in Southbank has been on my bucket list ever since I learnt of its existence, and last year I finally got to cross it off when Daniel's family came down to visit us and we all decided to go.

As with such places as the museum, zoo and aquarium, the Skydeck is also one of those places that you have to go to at least once, if you're from Melbourne. That's how I see it, anyway. I feel really lucky to live in Melbourne, the world's "most liveable city", and I intend to milk it for everything it has while I can.

Adult tickets are $20 for general admission, which is cheaper than both the aquarium and the zoo, but there is also a "Sun & Stars" option, that costs an extra $5.50 per person, that gives you an extra visit for that day or the next day. Theoretically, this option is so you can see the view both at day and night.

Of course, there is also "The Edge". Adult tickets for The Edge are $12, on top of your general admission ticket. We did not end up going to The Edge when we visited, but I forget whether that was due to insufficient funds, or just pure fear.

I can't remember if I've said this before (although I most likely have), but I am scared of nearly everything, and I thought that I would really start to freak out whilst in the elevator on the way to the top, but since they are the fastest elevators in the Southern Hemisphere, it only takes 38 seconds to get to the top. 38 seconds. You step in, and before you know it, your ears are popping from the change in altitude, and you're about to step out and view Melbourne from 297 metres above the ground - which is the highest public viewpoint in the Southern Hemisphere, apparently.

Unfortunately, I did not take any photos of the actual building, inside or out (except for one of a post box, which is the highest post box in Australia, pictured below), but I do know there was a gift shop there, as I bought a shot glass as a souvenir for myself. I'm not sure why I chose a shot glass since I do not do shots, but I'm presuming it was one of the cheapest things there because, once upon a time, I hardly ever spent my money.

I really loved visiting the Skydeck. It was mind-blowing to think how far off the ground we were, and I love experiencing all the great things that this city has to offer. I do want to go again sometime, and do the whole Edge experience this time. That is, if I don't chicken out.

I apologise for recycling old memories the last couple of weeks, but I've been really sick and haven't been able to venture out of the house and do anything interesting. However, I am all better now and have a new adventure planned this weekend that I will chew your ears (or eyes?) off about next week! Thanks for sticking around in the meantime.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Top 10 All-Time Favourite Books

I have been wanting to write a list of my top ten favourite books for quite a while, and when I finally got around to doing it, I discovered it was a lot harder than I thought. Whilst I love nearly every book I read (I usually rate most of them 4 stars on Goodreads), it was hard to choose ten that I would gladly call my favourites.

For me, to call a book one of my "favourites" means I would read it a second, third, fourth and maybe a fifth time. I have only read two books twice - the first two on this list. Since there's still so many other books I'd like to read, I don't like to waste time re-reading ones I've already read. So here's ten books that I really do like, it's just that some I would happily read again, whilst others I wouldn't complain if I was made to read them again.

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
I know you've probably heard far too much about this book or/and movie, so I won't go on about it too much. I first read the book in 2010, and then again around the time the movie came out, and I loved it both times. I loved the characters and all their individuality, and, as cliche as it may be, I adored Charlie and really wished I had someone like him in my life.

2. Borrowed Light by Anna Fienberg.
Whenever anybody asks me what my favourite book is, I say this one - and every time, whoever I'm talking to has no idea what it is. No one I know has ever heard of it, but I still love it. I've read it twice, but they were both many years ago, and quite a few years apart. I can't recall all the events that occur, but I do know the reason it stuck inside my mind so much is that Callisto (the main character, named after one of Jupiter's moons - when I first read this book, I was really into space) categorises the people she knows into "Stars" and "Moons". "Stars" create their own light, whereas "Moons" borrow the light that the Stars emit. As I said, I can't really remember the plot since I read it so long ago, but it must be pretty good to get me to come back for more!

3. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards.
I bought this book, gave it away, and then bought it again before I finally got around to reading it - and I'm so, so glad I did. It's a very gripping story of a doctor who delivered his own twins, only to discover that one of them had Down Syndrome, so he gives it to his nurse, who then runs away and raises the baby as her own. The book tells the story of both the family who are mourning with the loss of one of their children whilst trying to raise another, and the nurse whose plan to raise Phoebe gets a lot tougher as she gets older. It really is a wonderful book - 496, 918 people wouldn't have read it and reviewed on Goodreads for no reason.

4. Julia and Julia by Julie Powell.
I only knew about this book because of the movie, which I really wanted to see, but never did. I loved the idea of cooking every recipe in a cook book; it's actually one of my own personal goals (the only problem is that I can't cook), and the book was just as interesting as I had hoped. I was able to live vicariously through her stories of cooking the most outlandish and difficult meals, without having to actually go through the stress myself. However, I was also surprised by the emotional impact that this project had on Julie's life and marriage, and reading about all the fights and breakdowns was quite upsetting. That being said, I did really enjoy this book.

5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I know I've talked about quite a few "household name" books so far, but I have discarded my habit of ignoring things that are popular just the for the sake of being "different". Things are popular for a reason, and I'm not going to deny myself the pleasure of truly great books just because everyone else likes them too. This book was another one that I enjoyed living vicariously through; I almost felt as I was really there, travelling the world, eating wonderful meals and falling in love (of course, I'm already head over heels in love, as those who follow my Instagram would know quite well). It was quite a journey reading about Elizabeth's adventures, and her path to self-discovery and happiness - one that I recommend you take, too.

6. Confessions of a GP by Benjamin Daniels.
I will buy any book that is in the non-fiction aisle and starts with "Confessions of a...". So far I have read three of them (this one, Confessions of a Park Avenue Plastic Surgeon, and Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant), and they have all been shocking and wonderful and sometimes scarring. Confessions of a GP is filled with jaw-dropping stories of some of the strangest medical stories that will make you feel incredibly normal. Certainly a good book to read if you're looking for some interesting anecdotes to tell at your next dinner party - actually, scratch that. I wouldn't recommend telling these stories if anyone is wishing to eat, and hold down their food.

7. The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton.
This book is basically filled with reasons why you shouldn't feel so bad about yourself, according to philosophy. Now I know philosophy isn't everyone's cup of tea, but this book was filled with a lot of facts and different points of view that I wouldn't have considered otherwise. Alain really knows his stuff when it comes to philosophy, and his work is quite easy to follow, making it perfect for those who are new to the subject.

8. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
This book is incredibly bittersweet. It's so brilliant and well-written, which only makes it more heartbreaking. The entire time Anne is in hiding she remains positive and caring, and even falls in love. She is truly a one-of-a-kind person. When you get to the end, where her entries just stop, it's like a slap in the face - but I think the journey is worth the heartbreaking end.

9. The Real Mrs. Brown by Brian Beacom.
I love Mrs. Brown's Boys. Comedy has such a special place in my heart, it's what I always turn to in times of struggle. It's the only thing that can take me out of my own mind. I mostly like watching stand up comedians, but I also enjoy the funny sitcom here and there (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Big Bang Theory, Friends, etc), and Mrs. Brown's Boys is definitely one of my favourites. I don't usually bother buying DVDs anymore, since Netflix has been invented and I don't watch things that often anyway, but Mrs. Brown's Boys (along with Big Bang Theory) is one show that I always buy. I knew that most of the cast was made up of friends and family of Brendan (AKA 'Mammy'), and I always wondered how that came to be about, so when I found a biography about him, I had to pick it up. Auto/biographies are a genre of books that I love, and this book showed what a really great guy Brendan is.

10. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.
I read this book before I watched the movie, and I'm honestly sorry that I ever watched the movie. I enjoyed it the entire time, until they COMPLETELY CHANGED THE ENDING. I won't give away anything, although I'm sure most of you have either read the book or seen the movie, but I still have to say HOW ANGRY IT MADE ME. The reason I loved the book so much was because the ending was so unexpected! It was a plot twist! It literally made me gasp out loud and nearly drop the book! The movie just did what everybody expected! If you've only seen the movie, I sincerely recommend forgetting it exists, and picking up the book instead. While you're at it, read some other Jodi Picoult books too, she's a great writer.

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In case you're wondering, these photos aren't of my entire book collection. I left out any series I own, most of my art books, most of my poetry books, and at least 30 others that I just forgot/couldn't be bothered to pick up when I was taking these photos. I was toying with the idea of doing a book collection post, but these photos were difficult enough. Until I own my own house, and can have a separate room for all my books, I don't think I'll ever be able to properly photograph my entire collection. I honestly cannot believe how many books I have acquired over the last 3 years.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 14 October 2016

Collection Series #2: Cups and Mugs

Everyone always says that I own a lot of cups/mugs, and in reality I know I do, but it also feels like I don't own that much since they're so spread out, and some aren't on display. After taking photos of them all (except for two that I forgot! A Hello Kitty glass, and a mug that says "craft makes me happy!" - sorry!), I figured out that I have over 50 altogether, but even that doesn't seem like a large number to me.

I mean, my cup and mugs Pinterest board has over 200 pins, so what I actually own feels like nothing compared to that. Don't get me wrong though, I love my collection - although it is scary to think that I acquired most of these over the last 7 months. Anyway, hope you enjoy!

polka dot tea cups

travel mugs

more tea cups, with saucers
miscellaneous mugs
drinking jars from Kmart

dessert-themed cup and mugs
novelty/souvenir mugs and shot glasses
some pretty mugs
two plastic tumblers and one (of two) Hello Kitty glasses
milk bottles with matching paper straws

double-walled latte glasses (better photos here + here)
and some tiny cups with saucers

the two newest additions - not sure if the pink one is
actually a cup, but I'm just going to say it is!

A few years ago I collected a set of mugs with different moustaches on them, but most of ended up breaking. The remaining two are now in the "useable" section of the cupboards, so I don't count them as part of my collection, since I don't use the mugs in my collection anymore (to prevent them from breaking like the moustache mugs). Don't worry though, I have plenty of plain glasses and mugs that are for everyday use, so it's not like I don't let people use any cups at all!

I would really love to have an outlandish collection of cups and mugs one day. I'm talking numbers well into the hundreds, a whole wall and/or room dedicated to them even, but it's just not practical while I am still living in a small place, especially since just these ones alone are going to be a nightmare to move when the time comes! Some day in the future, when I own my own house, I want my collections to be so big they'll literally make your jaw drop, but that's just me being greedy.

If you have any questions about where I got any of the cups from just send an ask to my tumblr, and I'll do my best to help!

Until next time,
Indya xx

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Sunday Savings #6

I feel like I don't even need to start this post with "I know I said I was going to save, but..." because by now you all know that I can't resist anything that's cute, or pink, or in the shape of a mug or book - so let's ignore the fact that I have a shopping problem, and move on to the cute things I bought. There isn't actually too much this week, so it still feels like a victory to me!

This cup actually proves that I did cut back a bit on my spendings this week as there were four of these cups, and I contemplated getting them all, before settling on two, before asking myself why on earth did I need two when I really didn't even need one, so I decided to just get one. It was only 75 cents each too, so I hardly felt guilty for getting it at all.

On the bottom it says "Polka Dot by Riviera Van Beers for Signature Housewares Incorporated", but no matter how many different ways I Googled those words, I could not for the life of me find this mug anywhere! I'm still confident in my purchase though; I can't recall the last time I found something this cute for only 75 cents.

Last year, I was obsessed with the colour yellow, which my tumblr archive can verify. It was the same time I fell into the art blog scene; where everyone was obsessed with yellow, sunflowers and Van Gogh (during those months I read so many books about him, I feel like I know him inside and out) - and, even though I am definitely more into pink now (which is thanks to 10-year-old me coming out of her shell again), I still have a soft spot for yellow. It's a very happy colour; it makes me think of sunshine and positiveness and all things good, so I thought this would be a nice thing to have in my house. It's engraved with "SE '96" on the bottom, but I couldn't find anything like it online. Still, it's cool to know that this plate is as old as I am!

Oh, items that are pink with polka dots, how you always defeat me. I don't even know what this item is meant to be (a vase? A cup? A toothbrush holder?), but I knew I had to have it. It fits in perfectly on my shelves with the other pink and polka dot items from my fourth Sunday Savings post.

It has no words on it anywhere, so I was unable to find it online. I saw a very similar item being sold on eBay (as a toothbrush holder), for 1.67 EURO, which works out to be $2.47 AUD - just a mere 47 cents more than what I spent.

Total spent: $2
Total saved: $0.47

This is probably my favourite purchase of the day. I've seen these online and have been wanting them for a while, so when I saw them for just $2, I was very happy. I love collecting cake and cupcake molds - and they're in the shape of tea cups, which is something else I collect! So much happiness from one product, but that was nothing compared to when I looked up the price for them, and discovered that they're worth $36.90 AUD! It must be a very popular product, or at least a well-known brand. I almost feel like I won the lottery.

Total spent: $2
Total saved: $34.90

Of course, no Sunday Savings post is complete without some book purchases. I have been using Goodreads a lot lately, which always inspires me to read non-stop.

Nearly every single time I step into an op shop, I see a copy of How to Kill Your Husband. On one hand, that could mean that it's a really bad book, but on the other, it could just mean that heaps of people read it, and liked it, but then gave it away because what good are books once you've read them? (That was rhetorical, as I don't get rid of books unless I despise them.)

I almost purchased it for $4, but decided against it when I remembered a bad review I read of it, but then I went to Vinnies and raided their 50c book section and saw it there, and decided to pick it up. Even a bad book is good if it only costs 50c. It is currently unavailable on Book Depository, but is priced at $19.99, which is pretty average.

Total spent: $0.50
Total saved: $19.49

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Animal Farm by George Orwell is one of those books that everyone says you have to read at least once, and since I have a personal goal to read most classics, I have been looking for this book for quite a while. This exact edition is also currently unavailable on Book Depository, but they list the price as $10.05, which is honestly not bad for a book, but then again, it is only 144 pages long - and it's still more than the $2 that I paid.

Total spent: $2
Total saved: $8.05

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I've heard a lot about Nick Hornby's books High Fidelity and About a Boy (as have many others when you consider how many reviews they have on Goodreads), so when I found High Fidelity and another title of his, I decided to pick them up. A Long Way Down has some great reviews on the back, including one by Johnny Depp. Plus they look fairly easy to read, which is good because I like to read a lot of quick and easy books while I also tackle some really long ones (I've been reading The Second Sex for nearly 6 months). This edition of A Long Way Down is also currently unavailable on Book Depository (I don't know what's going on there, perhaps because they're older editions?) and the price isn't listed, but other paperback versions on this book are listed as $12.80. I was unable find the exact edition of High Fidelity on Book Depository, but another edition that was published the same year is priced at $19.26.

Total spent: $5.25
Total saved: $26.81

Total spent overall: $13.75
Total saved overall (excluding the 2 items whose original prices I don't know): $89.72

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This week's purchases were actually made at Salvos and Vinnies, rather than Savers like usual, and I feel like I saved a lot more money, especially at Vinnies. Savers prices are a lot higher since their workers are actually paid, and they just seem to know their brands better - which is another reason why I enjoy going to Salvos and Vinnies every now and then; they may have a smaller variety, but you're likely to save more money in the end.

Until next time,
Indya xx