oz recap part 1: perth snaps
ahhh, australia. let’s talk about australia. i gave you guys the rundown on everything i ate in the land down under last week, but now i want to really start talking about my trip. where i went, what i did… and of course, show you some pictures!
my first stop on this trip was [supposed to be] broome, where my dear friend from study abroad was getting married. broome is in western australia, so saying that getting there was a hike is an understatement.
long story short, my flight to brisbane was delayed getting out of l.a.x. and i ended up missing my connecting flight to broome. because broome is super small [one baggage claim at the airport, one gate, etc.], there is only one direct flight a week from brisbane to broome, so they had to reroute me via perth. i had to stay overnight and fly out the next morning, but qantas put me up in a really nice hotel, the pan pacific, took care of transportation to and from the airport and gave me a $50 meal voucher, which was great.
unfortunately, by the time i got to perth and the whole ordeal was worked out, i was really only there for a few hours on a sunday evening, so i didn’t get to see much. i did get a chance to walk around down by the water during sunset and see the city skyline… and just not being on a plane was a much appreciated change of pace after over 30 hours of traveling! it was a welcome surprise to spend a little time in a city i hadn’t planned on visiting, even if it was only for a short time. pretty, right?
[view of swan river from langley park]
[palm trees along the walking/bike paths in langley park]
[the bell tower]
[view from my hotel room]
hopefully i will get to go back to australia some day in the future and really see perth, but this mini-visit was still beautiful! next week, we’re going to talk more about australia with a recap of what is easily the most beautiful place i’ve ever been… stop numéro dos… broome!
motivation mondays: week 36
good morning and welcome back to motivation mondays! last week, i was in the air somewhere between sydney and new york on monday and by the time i got home i was just too tired to pull off a post… and i never want to half ass anything i do here on the blog and sometimes it’s okay to just say no. so, i hope that’s all okay with you guys.
now that the cat’s out of the bag regarding why i’ve been talking so much about change and taking chances on motivation mondays over the past few months, i want to shift gears a little bit today.
now that it’s summer, i’m sure many of you are feeling the pressure, possibly a little more than usual, to be “bikini ready” with all of the beach weekends, weddings and trips that are on the calendar over the next couple of months. i know how stressful this time of year can be… we all want to look our best, especially in the summer. it’s so easy to start comparing ourselves to people around us and sometimes getting that inner voice to shut the eff up is seriously difficult. i still fight the battle of “i’m not skinny/pretty/perfect enough” with myself from time to time and the idea of being in a bathing suit in public can give me a lot of anxiety if i’m having an off day/week/etc.
there’s a lot of talk out there about embracing our imperfections, which is something i have always tried my hardest to do. and then i read the four agreements [which i recommend that everyone does]. the author talks about how there is no such thing as “imperfections” because you are already perfect the way you are. and honestly, i love this. i don’t think that the imperfect approach to body image is a bad thing at all, but i do think that looking at it that way can make us a little more obsessive sometimes. instead of focusing on what’s imperfect about us, we can turn it in a more positive direction by embracing ourselves as perfect… and couldn’t we all use a little more positivity in our lives?
so just remember, you are perfect. today, tomorrow, next week, next year. no matter what. there is nothing about you that isn’t okay, that isn’t perfect. you are perfect. you are enough.
things i’m loving this week…
1. one of my favorite bloggers, jordan younger of the balanced blonde, has an apparel company that i am just obsessed with. simple and to the point. i already own the “yoga junkie” t-shirt, but in regards to the other designs, especially some of the new ones… i’ll take one of each please!
2. i stumbled upon this handbag company that makes bags from 100% vegan materials. i’m dying for one of their bucket bags… might just have to treat myself this week!
3. finally, jon stewart for president. the end.
on the agenda for this week, wednesday i’ll have a new recipe for you and friday, the first of several recaps of my trip to australia will be going up! in thursday’s newsletter [which you can subscribe to here] i’m going to share with you a few ways that you can practice yoga… from anywhere at anytime. so, if you aren’t already a subscriber, be sure to change that before thursday!
p.s. as of wednesday i am officially a yoga teacher! my certificate arrived in the mail and i am ready. to. go! email me at email@example.com if you’re interested in doing some yoga with me… reduced rates for private and group sessions for the summer months… reach out for more details!
photo courtesy of sonima
happy friday, guys! i hope you have all had a good week and are ready for the first official weekend of summer! i mean… who isn’t ready for longer days, sunshine, warm temperatures, the beach and all of the other great things summer brings? i know i am… can you tell i’m partial to this season?
if you’ve been reading my blog regularly for the past several months, you may or may not have picked up on a couple of things:
1. i hate winter. i grew up in erie, pennsylvania, went to college in buffalo, new york and now live in new york city… you would imagine that i would be used to the cold, gray, ugly, dreadful, snowy, absolutely unbearable weather that winter [and more often than not fall, as well] brings to this part of the country. but, no. No, i am not used to it, i still hate every minute of it and literally become a different person from about mid-october to mid-april.
3. i’m kind of obsessed with california. i went to l.a. for the 4th time back in may and literally fell more in love with this city than i already was [i posted about the trip here and here]. i’ve always loved the idea of california… it’s just seemed like a utopia for me for so long… and… i just love it. i really can relate to the “i left my heart in california” sentiment. i even have a pinterest board dedicated to my obsession with the golden state… because why wouldn’t i?
so, with that being said, you might have already put two and two together, but, let’s just go ahead and make that big announcement i promised…
I’M MOVING TO LA!!!!
after five years in new york and my whole entire life in the cold, i’m ready to make a change. i love l.a. [and southern california in general] and have just been really at peace and happy every time i’ve visited and, in a way, i feel like it’s calling me.
as much as i love new york, i also seriously hate new york. i broke down about mid-february this year, when it was like…. ZERO DEGREES EVERYDAY, and decided that enough was enough.
i started doing my research [turns out socal is a great place for wellness junkies and pursuing what i want to pursue… because obviously], making plans [roadtrip? one-way ticket? where will i live? where can i get a job?] and putting things in motion [even though i’m pretty much wingin’ it]. i did a little soul-searching in the process [which is never a bad thing] and finally, in less than two weeks, i will be leaving the city and heading to sunny l.a. later this summer!
i. cannot. wait.
i’m excited to be making a change. i’m excited for a new adventure. am i a little scared? i mean DUH. but, remember, as i’ve said before and will continue to say again and again and again, you have to actually try something in order to know if it’s the right or the wrong choice. i could get to l.a. and totally hate it and realize i want to be in new york forever, but there is no way that i will ever find that out if I don’t give it a try.
so, here goes nothin’… l.a., are you ready for me?!
image courtesy of moda operandi
what i ate wednesday: australia edition
i’m back from an amazing 16-day vacation in the land down under and the reverse culture shock is still going strong. i’ve spent the last few days recovering from jet lag [not as bad as i thought it would be considering the major time difference and crossing the international dateline] and while it’s always sad when vacation ends, i’m excited to get back into my routine this week.
let’s get right to it, and as always after every trip i take, first thing’s first is a what i ate wednesday post to cover everything i ate + drank while i was away. holy shit. where do I even begin? i think it’s best to just start from the top…
stop #1: broome
broome was the first town i visited because it was where my friend was getting married. we mostly ate in, as a bunch of us had rented a house with a full kitchen, but i did make my way to a health food store in an attempt to detox before the wedding.
fresh pressed juice at broome natural wellness:
the “liver lover” juice seemed appropriate… beet, carrot, lemon and ginger. a large cost around $6 usd… we aren’t in kansas anymore!
fresh, sustainable fare at jack’s bar + restaurant, eco beach:
my friends got married at an eco lodge, which was basically heaven for this chick. everything about this place was out. of. con. trol. they have their own organic farm on-site that produces 70% of the produce used in their restaurant. i ate the grilled haloumi salad every day. the cocktails were also amazing and definitely inspired me to keep experimenting with my own fresh, healthy cocktails!
stop #2: cairns
cairns is a fairly small town in north eastern australia that’s popular because of its proximity to the great barrier reef and the rainforest. there wasn’t a whole lot going on here, but there were a few places worth noting.
fresh coconuts at rusty’s market:
this massive coconut was full of the freshest, most flavorful coconut water. oh, and each coconut only cost about $2.50 usd. yea.
lunch at coco lavish:
this was a great little mom and pop style café with lots of fresh, healthy options… salads, smoothies, wraps and tons of coconut products! i had the kale and chickpea wrap.
kebabs… because you can’t get this sh*t in the u.s.:
a favorite of anyone who has spent time abroad, kebab stands are pretty common in australia, as well. the vegetarian option, falafel, wrapped in a pita and topped with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms and tzatziki… never disappoints.
dinner at the woolshed:
this place was recommended to us by some locals for dinner and drinks. after our day trip to the reef, we chilled out for a bit with a few beers and some good old-fashioned pub food. we started with the grilled haloumi fingers [loving all of the haloumi cheese in australia!] and for my main course i had the stuffed portobello mushroom, filled with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, pesto and feta cheese.
nitrogen gelato at nitrolato:
i found this place on instagram and was immediately intrigued. the gelato for each order is made in individual servings on the spot and served sundae style. i had the swiss chocolate lindt ball which was vanilla gelato with a lindt truffle blended into it and topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. while i’m still not sure what nitrogen gelato is exactly and the decor/presentation of this place is pretty cheesy, the gelato was effing delicious.
stop #3: brisbane
okay, brisbane has some serious sh*t happening in the food world and i found myself with more options than i knew what to do with. so many, in fact, that i had to eat two breakfasts one day just to get to all of the places i wanted to try while i was there.
brunch at lock ‘n’ load:
lock ‘n’ load is in the west end, a brooklyn-esque neighborhood in brisbane that i absolutely loved with so many options for places to eat that i struggled with making a decision. the sweet corn fritters with avocado, poached eggs and spinach on the menu at lock ‘n’ load ultimately won me over and paired perfectly with a pacific ale from byron bay’s stone + wood brewing company, just down the road from brisbane!
dinner in chinatown at thai wi-rat:
i heard so much about the asian influence in australia that i had to make sure to check out an asian restaurant while i was there. i came across chinatown in brisbane and had dinner at thai wi-rat, where i gravitated due to the long line of locals standing outside. simple, flavorful and delicious. i had thin rice noodles with spicy sauce, tofu and veggies.
brunch at the little larder:
as you can probably tell, breakfast [or “brekky”] slash brunch is on. point. in australia. and the avocado toast game is on a whole other level. the little larder was just down the street from where i was staying in new farm, so it’s a little out of the way, but if you’re ever in brisbane, it’s worth checking out! i had the avocado toast, which was sourdough rye, also served with goat cheese whip and pickled beets. so, so, so good.
because i wanted to try both of these places and only had one morning left in brisbane, i did what any reasonable person would do and had two breakfasts, back to back.
i started at doughnut time after seeing pictures of long lines on social media and went with the creme brûlée doughnut. the custard filling was out of this world.
next, to balance out all of the sugar from the doughnut i had first and to hopefully counteract the onset of diabetes [kidding, kidding] i went to cocobliss, a superfoods bar in the west end specializing in açai bowls that change with the season. mine was topped with bananas, cacao nibs and coconut flakes. they also serve organic, fair trade coffee!
dinner at claret house:
my friends who got married in broome actually ended up in brisbane for a few days en route to their honeymoon, so we met up for a romantic dinner for three at claret house on my last night in town. the hand cut potatoes with rosemary, sea salt and garlic aioli were some of the best fries [or chips, as they say in australia] i’ve ever had, the haloumi salad [again with the haloumi!] was beautiful, with sweet potatoes and feta cheese and the desserts… omg. hand made chocolate truffles with blood orange and fresh macarons [lemon, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate]. everything was just lovely.
stop #4: sydney
again, another city just overflowing with food options.
coffee + lunch at katipo coffee house:
this place was just down the road from where i was staying in bondi and it was such a cute little escape! the lunch i had there on my first day in sydney was great… israeli couscous with lentils, pepper, butternut squash, carrots, almonds and feta cheese.
the best ice cream ever at aqua s:
okay. another one i came across on instagram that immediately went on my list. the ice cream here… just un. real. the flavors were so unique and the presentation was spot. on. i couldn’t not get the sea salt ice cream, which was perfectly sweet and salty and creamy. the black sesame cone was the perfect pairing and i got the toasted marshmallow on a chocolate covered pretzel stick garnish because it looked so effing perfect. i would eat here every day if i could.
obviously i would stumble upon a food market when wandering around sydney. this little neighborhood was right next to the harbor and had a lot of great options. i tried the turkisk gözleme, a flatbread stuffed with cheese, spinach and mushrooms.
pizza at vacanza:
this was a great local spot in surry hills that two friends took me to for dinner. while eating pizza wasn’t something i imagined i’d be doing in australia, this place was worth it! we started with the pear and bresola salad, which was arugula [wild rocket in australia], parmesan cheese, pears and bresola on the side. i went for the vacanza pizza, a white pie with fresh mozzarella and pecorino cheeses, truffle oil and mushrooms… and then I added burrata… because why wouldn’t i add burrata? And i ate the whole thing by myself. i think that says it all.
kombucha on tap at the bondi market:
again, i just so happened to stumbled across the farmer’s market in bondi beach one morning on my way to breakfast. the fresh kombucha on tap was amazing!
breakfast at bondi wholefoods:
bondi beach and the surrounding area was just crawling with healthy spots, so i was in heaven. bondi wholefoods is a health food store and restaurant all in one, which is pretty much my idea of perfect. i had to go with the cacao and berry pancakes and omg. they were topped with bananas, strawberries, berry chia jam, cacao cashew cream and cacao nibs. i have nothing more to say on this matter except: JUST LOOK AT THE PICTURE. so many heart-eye emojis.
gelato at messina:
the amount of ice cream i ate on this trip definitely started bordering on offensive. my friends who live in sydney told me to check this place out and i never say no to recommendations from locals. milk chocolate with chocolate peanut butter fudge on top and the mighty gm on the bottom, which was one of their weekly specials and i cannot for the life of me remember what it was… but i do remember that it was damn good.
brunch at bill’s:
another recommendation from locals specifically for the scrambled eggs, i had my last aussie breakfast here. the scrambled eggs with buttered sourdough toast and avocado on the side was so simple and the eggs were cooked so perfectly that no frills were needed.
drinks at opera bar:
while i don’t have any pictures from this stop, i spent my last night in sydney having drinks at opera bar, which has a stunning view of the sydney harbour bridge, circular quay and, as the name suggests, the opera house. it was the perfect way to end my vacation and i recommend that anyone visiting sydney stop here for a cocktail [or two, or three, or five].
must eat: bondi wholefoods + aqua s, both in sydney
must drink: opera bar, sydney
honorable mention: the little larder, brisbane
5 tips for glowing skin all year round
well, summer is almost officially here and one thing [of the many, many things] i love about summer is how easy my skincare and makeup routines become because… let’s face it… everyone looks better with some color! don’t you wish you could carry around that summer glow all year round?
well, i have good news! you can! here are my tips for glowing skin, even after summer is gone.
1. slather on the sunscreen. okay, this is a no-brainer. i don’t think i really need to elaborate. it’s summer. if you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time, just wear you’re effing sunscreen. please and thank you.
2. go natural with your skincare regimen. when it comes to taking care of your skin, less is more. not only in the number of products you use, but in the ingredients that are in the products you use, as well. i recommend finding an all-natural, toxin-free cleanser, making your own toner from a few simple ingredients and moisturizing with coconut oil. that’s all you need! if you do find yourself needing a spot treatment for those pesky breakouts, tea tree oil works wonders.
3. wear less makeup. makeup… while it does make us look good [in most cases, not all] and many of us can’t imagine going without it, it’s pretty terrible for our skin. foundations and concealers can clog up our pores and make it hard for our skin to breathe and people with sensitive skin will sometimes break out because they are using too much makeup. the summer is a good time to start experimenting with wearing less makeup because, like i said, everyone looks better with a tan! use the next few months to start feeling comfortable leaving the house without being plastered with makeup and if you are going to wear it, invest in high quality, toxin-free products. i personally love just about everything from both tarte and josie maran.
4. start skin brushing. i’ve talked about the benefits of skin brushing before, but there is no better time to start doing this than in the summer, when more of our skin is exposed to the elements than usual. check out this post for the full scoop!
5. eat right. believe it or not, what you put into your body is just as important as what you put on your body when it comes to taking care of your skin. experts recommend eating lots of berries [the antioxidants make our skin look younger], tomatoes [loaded with lycopene, which fights hormones that cause breakouts] and kale [loaded with both a + c vitamins, known for helping to firm the skin up] to fight dryness, redness and breakouts.
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