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
off to oz!
well, the day is here. as i mentioned on wednesday, i’m headed to australia, the land down under, for the next two weeks! i’m literally bursting with excitement at this point and i don’t know how much longer i’ll be able to contain myself. getting there is going to take me nearly 40 hours [i leave tonight and won’t be stepping outside of an airport until sunday afternoon… yikes], and i’d be lying if i said that wasn’t freaking me out and giving me quite a bit of anxiety. the good news is, i’m headed to what might be one of the most beautiful places on the planet and based on what everyone has told me, australia is beyond worth the exhausting travel situation.
my first stop is broome, where one of the best humans i have ever known is getting married! the wedding is at an eco resort tucked away on a secluded stretch of beach about an hour and a half drive from broome proper, and from what i understand about this place, it’s quite possible that i might never leave.
after the wedding, a friend and i are heading to cairns to check a major item off of the bucket lists: snorkeling the great barrier reef! after that, we’re venturing down to brisbane and then i’m flying solo for the last few days while I explore sydney.
i have a variety of posts scheduled to go up while I’m away, including a guest post from another badass chick in the wellness world that you guys will love, so be sure to keep checking back as always! and, you better believe i’ll be instagramming the sh*t out of this trip. expect lots of beach/ocean pictures, baby animals [i’m not leaving ausitralia without pictures of me playing with koala bears and kangaroos] and many a #eatingfortheinsta.
obviously i plan on doing recaps of each place i visit like i did for my eurotrip here, here, here and here, as well as a what i ate wednesday post [which is pretty much guaranteed to be epic] when i return, but as per usual, you can keep up with me in realtime on all of my social media channels [instagram, facebook, twitter]. i also recently created a bananas + bellinis snapchat [username bananasbellinis] and hope to get some fun snaps in over the next few weeks, as well!
have an amazing weekend… i’ll catch up with you in a few days… from broome!
image courtesy of nga
as you probably already know based on my instagram feed and last week’s what i ate wednesday post, i visited two of my dearest friends in l.a. a few weekends ago and had so. much. fun. this was my 4th time visiting southern california in the last year and every time i go i find it harder and harder to come home. and this trip was no exception. seriously, i basically had to be forced into the car that was taking me to the airport.
i stayed with two friends who left new york last summer and had a chance to see some of the other people i know out there who have recently migrated west. let me just say, i 100% understand why all of these formers new yorkers have made the decision to relocate and it’s something i have thought about doing quite often since my first trip out there [but actually since the first time i ever watched the o.c.].
while we didn’t opt to do a lot of touristy things [i was going for a more “local” experience this time], i still wanted to share a few pictures and do a little recap from the weekend that weren’t related to food, just to… you know… prove that my entire world doesn’t revolve around eating… maybe.
yogaworks santa monica
just quickly, i wanted to mention that, as a graduate of yogaworks’ teacher training, i made it a priority to check out a class at their santa monica studio [the main street location] while i was out there. i took a level 2/3 class with mia togo first thing on friday morning and absolutely loved her style. based on the philosophies she spoke about, it sounds like she has struggled with many of the same things i have in the past, so relating everything she was saying to my practice was very easy. the class was challenging and the perfect way to start my weekend of socal living!
what would a trip to l.a. be without a little visit to beverly hills? after brunch on saturday, we walked from west hollywood to beverly hills, taking detours through a few neighborhoods to scope out the houses/cars/landscaping/etc. [in a totally not-creepy way… i think] and then eventually made our way down rodeo drive, wandering in and out of the designer shops and boutiques. the weather was perfect and it was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. go ahead and file this under “things i could get used to”.
rooftop [birthday!] drinks in venice beach
Photo courtesy of High Venice
while i don’t have any of my own pictures from high rooftop lounge [pretty fitting name, right?] because we were there later at night, i can only imagine what the view from this place is like during the day. even though it was dark and we couldn’t really see anything, the sound of the ocean and the breeze were enough, and i will be coming back here for sunset cocktails the next time i’m in l.a.! when this bar closed, we headed to larry’s just down the street which was really fun… a nice, laid back vibe with friendly bartenders who gave me a few birthday drinks/shots on the house [and also gave us total control of the music at one point]… exactly the type of place i wanted to ring in the big two seven!
the famous “venice” sign… i know it’s not the best picture, but i couldn’t not include it.
santa monica is where my friends live and easily my favorite place in l.a. i just effing love it. the ocean, the beach, the pier, the park, the shops, restaurants and bars down main street… everything. on my last day, we did a little shopping, walked through palisades park, wandered down the pier and eventually hopped on the pacific wheel, the ferris wheel in pacific park, which is the famous amusement park located on the santa monica pier. the view could not have been more perfect.
so… like… can i go back yet?
the big two-seven… from l.a.!
i am beyond happy to be able to say that today’s post is coming to you from warm and sunny and perfect l.a.! i’m out here visiting friends and celebrating my birthday and i could not be more excited to be turning 27 here.
ever since the days of the o.c. [zero shame, and if someone wants to get me a birthday gift i would love this shirt], california has always intrigued me and as i’ve gotten older, my obsession has only grown. the lifestyle, the mindset, the scenery, the weather. california has a certain vibe to it that i haven’t felt anywhere else. this is my fourth trip out here in the last year and i have to say, i often ask myself what the eff i’m doing in new york…
… anyways! i’ll be sure to do some recap posts of my trip for you guys over the next week or so, but make sure you’re following me on social media [instagram | twitter | facebook] so you can see what i’m up to in the meantime! [spoiler alert: palm tree/beach/ocean/sky pictures and, most importantly, a lot of #eatingfortheinsta posts to follow.]
enough about that… let’s talk about 27 for a minute. twenty-seven. two. seven. twenty. effing. seven. how did this happen?!
i really feel like this number has snuck up on me because i truly do not feel like a 27 year old… and i’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a sign that i seriously need to get my act together. we’ve heard the old adage “age is just a number” hundreds of times and i always roll my eyes when someone says this to me, but right now, i can actually say that i agree with this.
i’m in my late twenties now? excuse me… what? when did that happen? how did that happen? i think the fact that i even have to ask these questions is proof enough that age doesn’t define you. it’s just a number and you are only as old as you feel. so like… 27? no big deal… right?
in the spirit of turning the big two-seven and officially leaving my mid-twenties behind, here are 27 things i’ve learned while being alive on this planet, in no particular order. some big, some small. some funny, some serious. all important. none to do with food/fitness/wellness/crunchy hippie sh*t.
- taking yourself seriously is a waste of time.
- there is no point in not saying how you feel or what’s on your mind.
- change is scary, but 100% necessary if you want to move forward.
- you’re never too old to take a nap.
- there is absolutely no avoiding the kardashians and we might as well just get used to them.
- it’s okay to change your mind.
- there’s a lot of power in doing. effing. less.
- the best cure for a hangover is netflix and seamless. Or another drink.
- it’s okay to take a sick day [even when you aren’t sick].
- trying to hold onto your pride is stupid. no one wins. not even you.
- the best thing you can spend your money on is experiences, not things.
- dogs are better than humans.
- math is, and always will be really, really hard.
- you can’t change the weather [but you can change your location, which in a way can change the weather].
- if your phone battery dies you will not, i repeat, you will not die with it.
- you get 24 hours to totally lose your sh*t and cry/mope/kick/scream/break things over a guy/girl. after that, you pick up and move on with your life. [thanks for this one, mom!]
- if you can’t find a little humor in bad situations they will only be that much worse.
- fuck the scale. that bitch is a liar. [still working on this one.]
- your real friends will be your friends no matter where you’re located geographically.
- if you don’t know, just ask.
- perfection is not a real thing. unless we’re talking about beyoncé. she might be perfect.
- if you really have to talk yourself into something you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
- no matter how sh*tty your situation is, it will get better.
- when you know, you know.
- “family is most important.”
- sometimes it feels good to just kinda wing it.
- if you don’t do it now, you never will.
there you have it. BRING IT ON TWENTY-SEVEN. i’m ready for ya!
as a blogger, i definitely get a lot of inspiration from reading other blogs. i love seeing how other bloggers have designed their sites, what type of voice they use to get their message out there and what they’re doing to add animation and fun to their personal brand. my blogroll is constantly growing, but i have a handful of blogs that i read every day, without fail. these are my go-tos for everything from health and wellness to travel to fashion to cooking and baking.
health + wellness:
1) the balanced blonde: there are many reasons i love this chick’s blog, but the main reason is because i’m 100% aligned to her approach to being healthy – balance! as you know, i think there is nothing more crucial when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle than being balanced, so her philosophy and personal experience really resonate with me. she’s all about being true to yourself, listening to your own body and taking care of it based on what is best for you. i also dig her clothing line, especially this yoga junkie tshirt, which i ordered last week!
2) the skinny confidential: lauryn is another wellness blogger who believes in taking care of yourself, but not letting being healthy consume your entire life. the skinny confidential is really more of a lifestyle brand at this point, which i hope to some day turn bananas + bellinis into. she’s written a book, has a couple of really cute puppies and her cocktail recipes are bomb… just f.y.i., you know, if you’re into that kinda thing.
3) the blonde abroad: if this girl isn’t living the dream, then i seriously don’t know who is. she goes to some of the most incredible places, takes amazing photos and conjures up some serious wanderlust in me with every single on of her posts. if i’m planning a trip, i always check to see if she has any recommendations for the place i’m headed, whether it’s for things to do, places to see or food/drinks to make sure i try… and she hasn’t let me down yet!
4) mr. + mrs. glode trot: talk about #relationshipgoals. these two professional photographers got married and quit their jobs so they could spend six months traveling around the world for their honeymoon… and then they just never really stopped. obviously, their photos are amazing and i’ve literally spent hours scrolling through their posts. their most recent trip to machu picchu is serving as inspiration for my 2016 travels!
food, cooking + baking:
5) my name is yeh: i’ll come right out and admit that i’ve never actually had a chance to try one of the recipes on molly yeh’s blog [or just haven’t dared attempt to because my creations could not possibly look as perfect as hers], but just looking at her photos seriously inspires me to get in the kitchen and start experimenting. and also to maybe take a food photography class and up my recipe game. in the meantime, i’ll be sitting over here scrolling through her posts [and drooling].
6) cassandra bodzak: i’m lucky enough to call cassandra a friend of mine, and she is everything she appears to be on her blog… super sweet, funny, and caring, which makes me love her even more. her simple, healthy, vegan recipes [especially the desserts!] are super accessible and delicious. as a mindful living coach, she also has some great tips for letting go of things that aren’t serving you and going after everything you’ve ever dreamed of.
7) morning glory blog: my dear friend ashley, who i’ve collaborated with here and here, is a boston-based fashion and music blogger, artist and photographer with so many talents. i love her edgy style and that she pulls it off on a normal working girl’s budget. she proves that you don’t need a trust fund and expensive designer clothing to look amazing.
8) gal meets glam: while julia’s style is totally out of my price range, and a little girlier than my taste, i love reading her blog for style inspiration and outfit ideas anyways. i love how put together and feminine she always looks. basically, if ashley’s style and julia’s style had a love-child, the result would be the closet of my dreams.
9) blawnde: obviously the co-founder of suja juice, annie lawless, is a mega-babe and i’ve definitely got a little bit of a girl crush on her. it’s also probably safe to say that she’s my spirit animal. she’s got a bangin’ body, gorgeous hair, killer style and just gets me. she dropped out of law school to follow her dreams and started suja from the ground up. she’s a hustler, super successful and still manages to find time to take care of herself and keep it real.
10) western wild: a more recent addition to my blogroll, kaitlynn is all about healthy recipes, a holistic lifestyle and has such fun style. her “lob” inspired me to chop my hair off a few months ago and although her blog is still pretty new, i think it’s only a matter of time before it’s going to seriously blow up. also, she has a few adorable dogs and is dating brody jenner… what more could she possible ask for?
aside from reading these blogs simply because i enjoy them, they also serve as a great reminder of why istarted bananas + bellinis. seeing other people be successful in this capacity shows me that it’s 100% possible for me to keep building this into whatever i want it to become. it might take time [lauryn of the the skinny confidential spent several years working her way to where she is today], but with passion, heart and determination, the sky’s the limit.
what are your must-read blogs?!
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