Friday, 30 December 2016

The first two months of this year were pretty uneventful, but things picked up pretty quickly in March when Daniel and I suddenly had to move out immediately, and stay with friends until we were able to find our own place. Since we were staying quite far away from where we had been living, I was unable to work until we found somewhere to live that was closer to my job.

Luckily, we had our savings, which took care of moving costs - but, unfortunately, that meant we had to cancel a trip to Europe that we'd been planning and slowly paying off. Out of everything that happened, that part broke my heart the most, but I'm not going to dwell on that. Daniel and I actually had to move all of our stuff twice - first to a friend's house, and then to our new house - but the friend that we were staying with helped out heaps. We wouldn't have been able to do it without him and his partner, and we'll be forever grateful to have them in our lives.

The same goes to everyone who was there for us over that period of time. So many people gave us furniture and kitchenware, and others offered anything that they could. It was a scary time in my life, and I could've easily fallen into a pit of despair, but everyone around us made me feel so loved that I couldn't be anything but grateful, and I can't thank everyone enough for that.
2016 Cake Bake & Sweets Show

As stressful and scary as the whole ordeal was, it was truly a blessing. Even while it was happening, I knew that it would eventually be over and that my life would be better than ever afterwards - and it really is. I am the happiest I've ever been, simply because I am finally in control of my own life. I make all my own decisions, I don't have to answer to anyone, and there's no one around trying to bring me down anymore.

Now, on the good days, I feel like my life is a fairytale: I live in a cute little unit with my boyfriend, who is also my best friend. We go on adventures all the time together. I have a job working with great people. 

I have plenty of free time to read and write until my heart's content. Of course, no one's life is a fairytale, and I never want people to think that's how I'm trying to convey my life - it's just that, compared to how it used to be, I really do feel like the luckiest person on Earth.

I decided to make a list of my accomplishments this year, no matter how small, and congratulate myself for making it to the end of the year. Hell, I can't believe I made it to 20! Once upon a time I thought I'd never even make it to 18, and now I'm 20. That means more than you can ever know.


In 2016 I:
  • Read 64 books (so far! I've nearly finished another one). I've loved reading all my life, but this is definitely the most books I've read in one year, and I'm so proud of myself.
  • Created a blog. I've been wanting to do this for so long, but I feel like this was definitely the right time. Now that I live out of home, I no longer feel like I have to watch what I say, or try to alter who I am, and I feel that has been reflected in my writing - particularly in my poetry. I've also been reading a lot more blogs, and that has been such a highlight of this year. There are so many inspiring people and blogs out there, which makes me want to work even harder on mine.
  • Dyed my hair orange. I'd had blonde hair for the last 3 years, but moving out felt like a fresh start, and I felt like a different person, so I wanted a change. I've loved orange hair for as long as I can remember, and I'm really glad I decided to give it a go.
  • Actually used my camera. I bought myself a digital camera a while ago, but I didn't like it and thought it was a huge waste of money, so it just sat in my cupboard unused. A few months ago, I decided to try it out again, and this time I waited until I put the photos on my computer before I judged them - and I was pleasantly surprised. My photos looked great; it was just hard to tell on the tiny screen on my camera. Now I take my camera with my everywhere.
  • Started studying for a diploma in specialist make-up services. Key word: started. I never actually finished, but I decided to add it to the list because it was a big decision that I made after I moved out. I had to pay a lot of fees and attend interviews in the city to get in. Then, after all that, they closed down the school and relocated to the city, which I am unable to get to on a weekly basis, forcing me to leave with a $20, 000 debt and no qualification to show for it. But, what's done is done. I got some cool make-up and brushes out of it, and I met some pretty great people.
  • Stood up for myself. Doing this is what got Daniel and I into such a predicament in the beginning of the year, but it was so worth it. I was being run into the ground and repeatedly taken advantage of by someone who was supposed to care about me, and one day I had to say no. I literally had nothing left to give. Afterwards, all hell broke lose, but I still did it. The next 24-48 hours afterwards were awful and scarring, but I could see the light at the end of the tunnel the entire time, and that's where I am now.

I'm not going to lie, thinking about 2017 scares me a lot. I'm going to turn 21, and that terrifies me. I am not ready to be 21. There's still so much about life that I don't know, and so many things I can't do - things that people who are 21 should be able to do - but I am trying to not put so much pressure on myself. 

As long as I'm working, striving to be be a good person, and am able to find happiness in the little things in life, that's all that should matter. There is still so much time for me to do all the things I want to do, I just need to remember that.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Monday, 26 December 2016

Well, Christmas is officially over for 2016, and I can't help but a little feel sad. I love this time of year, all the decorations and catching up with family, and I always feel a little deflated when it's over - but this post isn't about me complaining, it's about me telling you what a great Christmas I had!

Throughout December I was able to catch up with (nearly) all of my best friends over two dinners, and I saw two 'lots' of my family over a dinner and a lunch, so that was really lovely. The last lunch was on Christmas Eve, and after a month full of catching up with people and working in an extremely busy shopping centre, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on the car ride home, which I haven't done in years. The drive wasn't even an hour long! I fell asleep again when I got home even though it was only 6pm, and then I did it again yesterday afternoon. This month has really worn me out!

Daniel and I got up around 9am on Christmas Day, so it wasn't too early. This year I put together a little 'hamper' of Daniel's favourite treats, pictured below, which I gave to him first. I'm thinking about making it a yearly gift, and I've already been noting down things to put in next year's hamper.

After that, we got up and opened our presents. This year was definitely the most I've ever spent on anyone, and it felt really nice to be able to do so. I had picked out most of my presents, but I had forgotten what a few were so it was nice to open them and be surprised.

Daniel also thought that I had gotten him a clock (which he doesn't like), and that I hadn't gotten him some wooden chopping boards (which he actually wanted), so he was pleasantly surprised to open up the present he thought was a clock and discover that it was actually three chopping boards!

Some of Daniel's presents from me.

I am so in love with all the things I got this year, but one gift actually made me cry. Daniel had told me he was going to make me something for Christmas, and I was instantly over the moon, and also completely stumped over what it could be. It turns out that while I was at work on Christmas Eve Eve, Daniel spent five hours making me a candle! Not just any candle, but a candle made with all my favourite things combined. 

He bought a bunch of red stick candles (because I love red) and melted them into a mason jar (I also love mason jars), and added coffee to it (because I've been wanting a coffee scented candle forever)! It took five hours because he'd melt a bit of one of the candles into the jar, add some coffee, and then wait for that bit to dry before adding more so that the coffee was evenly distributed, plus he had to hold the wick until the candle had set so it didn't fall in!

It still wasn't finished by the time I came home from work so I found out what it was a bit early, but that didn't matter. I just couldn't believe how much time and effort he put into it, and the fact that he included all the little things I love into it really proved how well he knows me. So I cried, because I'm a huge softie! I also thought of getting a peg to clamp onto the wick, then resting the peg on the top of the jar so he didn't have to stand there holding it, so it was probably good that he let me see what he was doing!

A few of my Pokemon and Sailor Moon presents.

Once we'd opened our presents, Daniel had to start on dinner. He got a recipe for pressed pork from a Gordon Ramsay YouTube video, and it was going to take over 8 hours to make, so he had to start soon if we wanted to eat dinner at a normal time. Once he'd done that, and it was in the oven cooking, we just relaxed for a while. I played Pokemon Sun, which I've been dying to play, and he played Battlefield 1, which was an early Christmas present I got him.

After a lovely and relaxing day, we set up the table for dinner. We usually eat at our desks, but since it was a special occasion we ate the table. I even bought a red table runner to make it feel Christmassy. We had the pressed pork (which turned out so good!) and some vegetables, then pavlova for dessert - which we smothered in cream, and then decorated with fruit. It was gorgeous and delicious!

It was a really nice Christmas, and I couldn't have asked for more. It was really nice to be able to spoil each other after such a rough start to the year. I am so lucky to have such great family and friends around me. Even though I don't see them often, they're still my favourite people in the world. It's so nice to not have anyone in my life anymore that brings me down, or makes me question myself. I am only surrounded by love, and that is a truly special thing.


As much as I liked this year, I am looking forward to most aspects of 2017. I am looking forward to a fresh slate, and to starting a whole new year with just Daniel and I. I like feeling that anything is possible at the start of a new year.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 23 December 2016

I didn't actually spend as much time reading this month as I would have liked. I ended up reading more books than last month - and I hit my goal of reading 60 books this year - but some of the books I read this month only took me a few days, so I could have read a lot more, but I didn't.

This month I also discovered the plethora of free kindle books that are available on Amazon, and ended up downloading over 300 of them. I've read a couple of them already, but I'll do a separate post on them after I've read a few more.

My Steve, by Terri Irwin.

This book was so emotional for me. I loved Steve Irwin as a kid, and I took it really hard when he died (granted, I was only 10). I've always loved animals, and I actually didn't mind going outside when I was younger, but Steve's passion for the outdoors wasn't even what I loved most about him. It was that he was just so genuine. He seemed like such a great, honest guy who cared more about others than himself - and that's exactly the story that Terri tells in this book. Steve really was a good person. He cried when animals (particularly 'crocs', as he liked to call them) were harmed, and he always did everything he possibly could, and then a little bit more, to help someone - human or animal - in need.

It was also interesting to learn about Terri, as I didn't know much about her before this book. Now that I've read it, I can see that they were truly great together. They were practically the same people. Terri cared about animals just as much as Steve - once again, particularly for crocs, their favourite animal. I can't imagine what it would have been like for her, losing her best friend, especially with two young kids. Anyway, I'm sure you all get the picture; I really did love Steve Irwin (I even have an old poster that's signed by him and Terri!), and this is a great - albeit, sad - book to read if you loved him too.

The Wind in The Willows, by Kenneth Grahame.

The character that really stood out to me in this book was the Mole. I instantly loved him, and how he was so amazed by every little thing. He quite reminded me of myself and my often child-like mentality - which is not to say I'm immature, but merely amazed by everything: snails on sidewalks, pretty coloured clouds, fireworks, etc. Despite its plot not being particularly gripping, although it did pick up more towards the end, I did this like book. It's simple and certainly unique, at least compared to the books that I've read.

However, the one thing I didn't like about this book was its ending. Toad was just horrible, and certainly didn't deserve all the luck and loyalty that was continuously given to him. I guess it just goes to show how far people (and animals) will go to help their friends, even when they are in the wrong.

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel:
As much as I liked this book, I wonder what it was about it that compelled over a million people to review or/and rate it on Goodreads. Most bestsellers have a few hundred thousand ratings at best, even if they've sold millions of copies, so clearly there's something about Life of Pi that really struck a cord with many people.

I must say that the premise of this book didn't particularly draw me in, more so its popularity, but it was nonetheless interesting. I know nothing about animals (well, the ones that were on the boat), religion, boats, or the ocean, so it was somewhat entertaining learning about those topics throughout this book. However, I am not sure what the significance of the third part of the book was. I would have preferred to hear about how he was fostered, and how he learnt to live with such horrible memories, rather than read an interview in which he told the same story twice, just with different characters - and ultimately wasn't believed anyway.

The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson.

I knew nothing about this book (apart from its name) when I first picked it up, and yet it still surprised me. I liked it instantly. As much as I do like classics, it's nice to get back to newer books that are written in modern English, I find them so much easier to read and enjoy.

I was expecting this book to be a lighthearted story about an old man who just wanted a bit of adventure - which I guess it is, but I certainly wasn't expecting mentions of murder, war, theft and rape. I also felt that some of the 'flashback' chapters ran a little too long for me, and that they were quite irrelevant and unneeded, although they did help add anticipation for what was going to happen in the 'real time' chapters. All in all, I really did like this book. It only took me 3 days to read, which is quite impressive considering how long it is. Usually it takes me weeks, or even months, to finish longer books.


I get really excited when I think about all the books that await me in 2017 - especially after my last book haul. I really want to try and get through more of the Rory Gilmore Challenge next year, but I also want to read whatever interests me, not just the books that I feel like I have to read, simply because they're classics and/or on a reading challenge. I guess I just need to figure out a good balance between the two.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 16 December 2016

Daniel and I went to the Melbourne Zoo again a little while ago. It had been a little while since our last trip, and I was really missing being around animals. We had our annual passes too, so it was a nice, cheap day out - especially since we packed our own lunch.

I know I have already written an adventure post about the Melbourne Zoo, but this time I bought my camera and took some really nice photos of the Butterfly House and the Japanese gardens. Unfortunately, there wasn't as many flowers in bloom as last time, but it was still really pretty. Someone was even getting married! You'll see a photo with a few of their seats in it below. Hope you enjoy!

The above photo was the only photo I took that wasn't at the gardens or the Butterfly House. Just look at the (not so) little guy munching away! I love tortoises, so I couldn't not include this photo. As I already went on about all my favourite animals and whatnot in my last post about the Melbourne Zoo, I decided to let the photos do the talking in this post instead.

This month has been pretty busy, but I've been loving it. I've been decorating the house, as you will have seen in a couple of my posts, and I've got three different dinner plans! That's more than I usually have in a whole year. I caught up with some friends last night, I am seeing more tonight, and then I get to see some family on Saturday! 

As much I have become a real homebody over the last few years, I really do love the people in my life, and every time I see them I'm always so happy and carefree. It's a really nice feeling.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Here are some more of my favourite wall photos. I am still sifting through all my old photos, so I am not sure if these pieces are still up, nor do I remember exactly where each of them were taken, but I do know most of them were around the Melbourne CBD. Half the fun is finding them anyway!

Until next time,
Indya xx

Monday, 12 December 2016

I don't need to tell you that I love donuts, because everyone should know that by now (especially judging by my last What I'm Loving Wednesday post!), and I am also a fan of cute DIY projects, so it was only a matter of time before I put the two together and thought: Hey, there must be some donut themed DIY projects out there! - and yes, there are quite a few, and they're all way too adorable.

I've been a fan of Kelly from Studio DIY for a while now, and the fact that she loves donuts as much as I do certainly makes me like her even more, so most of these projects are by her since she is a genius and can turn pretty much anything into a donut. However, I did try to find projects from other people too! I've listed the ones that I think I could personally do, or that are made with items that aren't too hard to find, or too expensive. I hope you like these projects as much as I do!

Photo from Studio DIY.

1. Donut sunglasses by Studio DIY.
This project is high up on my to-do list. I am so in love with them. I'm all for novelty items, and have been wanting to start a colourful sunglasses collection ever since I saw Kate from scathingly-brilliant's collection, and I think these will be a great addition. The glasses Kelly uses are only $10 from Amazon, so this isn't a project that's going to break the bank either!

2. Donut piñata by Studio DIY.
My next birthday may be my 21st, but I know I certainly wouldn't complain if there was a piñata present... especially if that piñata was shaped like a donut! I can't think of anything more fun than hitting a big treat repeatedly until a heap of smaller treats fall out of it. If you can somehow put donuts inside of it (inside a wrapper or something) that would make me even happier. Although, on second thought, I would need two donut piñatas: one to actually use, and one to hang up somewhere in my house so I can just admire it.

Photo from whydontyoumakeme.

3. Donut clock by whydontyoumakeme.
I love clocks! I only have three at the moment (one with Hello Kitty on it, one with the Eiffel Tower on it, and one with cupcakes on it), but I used to have a lot more, and probably will have more in the future. I don't actually use them because I'm too lazy to put batteries in them, my phone already has a clock, and I think hearing the ticking of 3+ clocks would eventually send me up the wall. That being said, if I was going to actually use a clock, it would be this one. It's bright, colourful and, most importantly, a donut!

4. Donut beach umbrella by Studio DIY.
I hardly ever go outside, let alone go to the beach (and when I do go, it's only to take photos), but I still absolutely love this idea. I wish I wasn't superstitious about opening umbrellas inside, or I would constantly have this baby on display. If I was going to do this project though, I would probably use a regular size umbrella, or even a parasol, so I actually have a chance of using it.

Photo from paintthegownred.

5. Donut bulletin board by paintthegownred.
I love bulletin boards. I think that's why I enjoy journaling so much, because they're sort of like mini bulletin boards; just scattered with mementos and photos. Daniel and I spend most of our times in our office, and it's important to me for my space to be filled with things that make me happy and will send off positive vibes - and it makes me happy just looking at the photos of these bulletin boards. Maybe I'll get around to making them sometime over the new year.

I also quite like this DIY donut purse and these DIY donut stools, but they look more difficult as cutting vinyl without a fancy machine is evidently a tedious task. I would really like to have a few donut stools in my own house one day, though. (FYI: I have no affiliation with any of these blogs or their authors. I just really admire these projects and wanted to share them!)


I would really like it if 2017 becomes the year that I finally do all the things that I say I want to do (more baking, more DIY projects etc), but I honestly have no clue what my future entails so I'm hesitant to make goals I may not be able to complete. I really do want to make those donut sunglasses though...

If you know of any cute DIY projects, donut related or not, feel free to comment or link them down below!

Until next time,
Indya xx

Related posts: 

Friday, 9 December 2016

I am not sure if I have enough purses and bags to consider them a collection, but people have often commented on how many I have, so I decided to do a collection post on them. Besides, I am in love with them all, and certainly don't mind writing about them. I have had a lot more bags than this, which is probably why it doesn't seem like much now, but I often donate the ones that I don't use to charity stores (which is funny, considering that's probably where I got them from).

I first got into "collecting" bags when I realised how many designer bags are sold in second hand stores. After that, I bought anything that had Guess, Jimmy Choo, Prada or any other well-known name on it, but once I had a pile of bags that were too old or not my style taking up room in my closet for so long, I knew I needed to stop. I was never one to care about brand names, and I don't know why I ever pretended I did.

It's kind of funny that I was into brand name bags when I was a pre-teen/in my early teens and now, at 20 years old, I am far more into novelty bags and cheap clutches - but I am much happier now that I don't deny myself the things I love. I will always be a child at heart, and I'm okay with that.
My favourite and most used bags. Just search "Sailor Moon" in Women's Bags,
and you'll find plenty of them.
This one was a birthday gift back in 2014, so it is no longer available, as far as I can tell.

A few impulse purchases from Kmart.

The two pink and one purple clutch were gifts from years ago,
and I got the black and white clutch from Colette last year.

A recent-ish Sunday Savings find.

My remaining brand name bags. My previous affinity for the colour yellow definitely
played a big part in buying the first bag, as it is not my style otherwise.
I do like the Guess bags though; I think everyone needs a staple black handbag.

I've had these bags for a long time and have no idea where they came from - I can't even find them online -
but they're really handy for holding my phone and wallet on quick trips.


I'll actually be adding a new bag to this collection once it arrives in the mail. It's an adorable unicorn bag from DollSkill that I've had my eye on for a while. Funnily enough, I didn't mean to buy it. I added it to my cart and chose PayPal as my payment method just to see what the price was going to be after it was converted to AUD (around $66, which includes shipping, in case you're wondering), but it turns out I accidentally purchased it while doing so. 

I emailed DollSkill and checked their FAQ, but it turns out they don't do cancellations, and sending it back to them in America would be too expensive, so I am going to have a very expensive and unneeded bag. Whilst what I did definitely isn't as bad as the girl who accidentally bought $733 worth of things from Sephora, I still kicked myself afterwards. I'm just not the type of person who spends that kind of money on one or two things. I am a thrift shopper. I get things secondhand or off eBay. I do not spend $66 on one bag

The worst part is, I had that money saved for some things I really wanted to get, which meant I had to take money out of my savings to get them, and that always makes me feel bad. I realise these are incredibly superficial first world problems, but I still feel like an idiot. Hopefully I'll feel better once I actually get the bag. I'm going to force myself to use it all the time so I get my money's worth!

Until next time,

Indya xx

Monday, 5 December 2016

I am just going to pre-warn you that these ideas may be mediocre at best - especially compared to all the wonderful blogs out there that are dedicated to budget lifestyle ideas and do-it-yourself projects - but I felt like sharing them as they're a quick and easy way to give your house a nice, subtle Christmassy feel. Besides, I wanted to show you some more photos of my other decorations and ornaments.

At the end of this post I'll also include some links to some other better budget and/or DIY decoration ideas that I really like. Hope you enjoy!

Some of my favourite Christmas items.

Idea #1: Use streamers in place of tinsel.
I know that tinsel isn't particularly expensive, but some families really struggle around Christmas time, and every cent counts. Instead of buying 500cm of tinsel for $6 at Kmart, you can get 48 metres of streamers for $1.50

It'll go a lot further, and you'll have a wider range of colours to choose from. Christmas is far from just red and green nowadays. Plus, as an added bonus, streamers won't shed everywhere like tinsel does, so you can put them anywhere! I even decorated my exercise bike in streamers.

Idea #2: Make mini presents.
Mini trees really are all the rage right now. I got a small fibre optic Christmas tree from my local supermarket for $9 a few years ago, which I like to have in my office throughout December, but it can look a tad bare without any presents underneath it, so this year I decided to make some. 

I found any small, flat items that I wouldn't need - mostly bits of cardboard and some dominoes I had lying around - and arranged them into different shapes before wrapping them with some left over wrapping paper. I am a sucker for small versions of bigger things, so I practically swoon every time I look at them.

Idea #3: Decorate your photos.
These decorations actually stemmed from another idea of mine, which was to buy small Santa hats to put on all my soft toys, but I soon found out that not many places sell individual tiny Santa hats because, let's face it, that's weird as hell. 

My next idea was to go to op shops and buy small Christmas themed soft toys and take their Santa hats off and put them on my toys, but that seemed somewhat cruel, and I knew if I did buy any soft toys, I'd end up wanting to keep them as well. After that, I thought of making the hats, before I realised that I have no idea how I'd stitch two different coloured fabrics in the shape of a hat when I have never picked up a needle in my life.

Clearly, this idea was not going well, so I abandoned it for a while. Once I started decorating the coffee table, pictured above, I felt that the photos really stuck out as there was nothing Christmassy about them, and that's when it hit me: draw little Santa hats and blu tack them on! You'll see in another photo above that I did the same thing with some pictures in my office.

Two Christmas plates I found at Savers.

Idea #4: Display some cards.
If you receive any Christmas cards, or have some old ones stashed away somewhere, hanging them up on the wall of any room will give it an instant Christmassy look. Same goes for Christmas-related pictures from newspapers and/or magazines.

A pink Christmas bottle brush tree I bought from Kmart.

If you Google DIY/handmade/budget Christmas decoration ideas, you will find hundreds of ideas, but I have listed some of the easiest ones I could find that are all made with materials that you will most likely have, or won't have trouble finding. Hopefully you find something that piques your interest!

Until next time,
Indya xx