Vivid ’18

Vivid is just around the corner it starts May 25th. It is probably one of the highlights of Winter along with reducing your AC bill. Last year I walked around the lights and did a boat cruise. Compared to the previous years the walk around the displays was done in a better fashion. There was a one way system which kept everyone going in the right direction. The boat cruise from last year was so good I have booked it again on Groupon. You can also get tickets still for them just Click Here. You know have to book through the site I believe there is only one company still with Vivid offers on Groupon.
There are so many things happening at Vivid other then the spectacular lights in the city. The events are really budget friendly as well. Two events stuck out for me and I am hopefully going to get tickets for it. I highly suggest checking out the Vivid Website.
My two events I hope to check out is a debate on the #metoo movement. I cant imagine the intensity of this debate. The tickets are $16 for the debate. I think witnessing a talk on one of the most talked about topics this year can not be missed. The other one is the 90’s night House and UK Garage night… my friends and I always comment on how we miss this music from home. Well now for $15 there is a full night dedicated to it!
Get your friends together and for under $20 you can have a night organised experiencing something new/unique or mind blowing for one night. Don’t let Vivid pass you buy its getting better and better each year. Little tip take a video and speed them up they will look like the one below…

 

Bondi Top 5.

A couple of weeks ago we were very lucky and got asked by a friend to house sit for a weekend in North Bondi. Living in the Inner West with a surfboard on the balcony we jumped at the chance to live by the beach for the weekend. That Friday we packed a weekend bag, surfboard and headed East. Massive thank you to our friends for letting us get to feel like Bondi residents for a weekend!

These are just my top 5 things we did in Bondi…We were full Bondi tourists all weekend and even though we have lived in Sydney for years all these were firsts.

1.Swim at Icebergs Pool

I have walked past the Icebergs so many times whilst on the Coastal Walk. This weekend we took the opportunity to have a dip in the pool and sunbath. It was around $8 to get into the pool and we set our towels up looking over Bondi Beach. I only did a few laps in the pool the water was a bit nippy. I spent the rest of the time reading my book with Bondi Beach in the background and soaking up the Autumn sun. There is also a Sauna, massage room and cafe in the pool area. It was a good to finally take a dip at this iconic swimming pool.

2. Sunrise / Surf on Bondi Beach

Sunday morning we got up at sunrise to go to the beach and MK surfed. I took a blanket down and sat on the beach watching the surfers, runners and the odd early morning swimmer. There was a lot of over cast but the colours never disappoint at sunrise. The sky was a soft pink and it is always feels good to get up and see the start of the day happen in front of your eyes. MK loved his morning surf. Bondi is his favorite spot for a surf but to be there that early and ride in those first waves of the day was great. After our sunrise it was straight to Harry’s Bondi Cafe for a coffee and MK  grabbed breakfast.

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3. Coastal Walk at Sunset

Saturday we had been to the beach and the shopping center at Bondi Junction so we felt like we had not done much exercise. In a bid to get some exercise done we decided to do the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee at sunset. I have done the walk countless times but never at sunset. It was again a pretty overcast sky but still provides amazing views the whole way round. We even saw a wedding party take photos at Bronte Beach ( what a backdrop). It was getting dark as we got to Coogee and our belly’s were rumbling so we jumped on the summer coastal bus back to Bondi.

4. Bondi Markets Saturday and Sunday

The Saturday markets were a bit smaller then Sundays, not as many stalls. The Sunday markets had everything from fresh produce, home ware, flowers and clothes. It looked like everything was home made organic and natural from all the signs on the stalls. There were some beautiful stalls with Turkish towels, dream catchers and candles. I could have spent a small fortune but luckily we were just doing a quick walk through to check it out.

 

5.Sunset at the Head in Watsons Bay

Our last night in Bondi we took a drive around and park at The Gap just above Watson Bay Hotel. There is a path which leads around the tops and it comes to a open which looks over Sydney’s skyline. It was a great spot to watch the sunset if you want a change from Watson’s Bay Hotel.

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Nepal Health

Last year I wrote a few blogs about me loosing weight and how I was trying my best to be healthier. The posts kind of died out because my weight just stayed the same and did not move. Even when I gave up booze for a month my weight did not budge. At the start of this year after we booked Nepal I started to work out a lot and still was seeing no results. I thought I was going mad and people would think I am not really trying…but I was. It was really knocking my confidence.

I finally went to the doctors in March and had my bloods done. Everything came back fine which is good but still no answer on why my weight was the same. The doctor explained to me I might have over stretched my stomach ( sorry not the best visual) and a way to get it to shrink would be to go on a Low Calorie Diet using Optifast. Basically I have two Optifast shakes a day, a piece of fruit, one small coffee, water and a 400 calorie meal. Optifast have a range of low calorie shakes, soups and deserts for you to pick from. I have had the chicken soup which I love and it breaks up having two shakes a day. With the shakes I have had the coffee, mocha and chocolate flavor. In all honesty they taste the same very chocolaty. I think the key to doing the diet well is just becoming organised…always have your shakes on you and water to keep you going through the day. It soon becomes habit.

The hard parts for me are working in a office there is always a biscuit tin or a cake floating around but having Nepal as my goal and thinking about that is helping me resist temptations. I also talk to Mum once a week about our diets (she is also on a health kick) and we give each other support to keep going. It really does help having that open conversation because when you have a weak moment one comment from someone can just keep you on the right track.

This diet at first sounded impossible but I was determined to do it and to get myself ready for Nepal (also to just be healthier for the future).  I have given up drink until Nepal and eating out as lets face it not much room for booze and takeaways in a 400 calorie meal.

I am now 3 weeks in and have shifted some weight which has given me such a confidence boost in myself taking on Nepal in September. The first week was the toughest for sure. I didn’t have much energy and food just seemed to be everywhere. Once I had my routine down with the shakes it became easier and easier. I have told my friends about the new diet I am on and how I cant drink and they have all been great. My friends, family, work team and MK have been so supportive with it big thanks to all of them! Especially MK as he has to deal my hanger sometimes …

Over the last three weeks I have seen my mind set with food change. It has shifted from constantly craving it to seeing it as just something I have to do during the day like a task. I have also gone from working out 2-3 times a week to 4-5 times a week, focusing on my stamina. I am doing a 7KM walk twice a week and swimming up to 2KM twice a week. On the weekend we have started to do our hikes as well. I feel like I have more motivation and I am sleeping better. On a weekend I have no hangovers to deal with and my bank account is looking great. I think I spent about 80% of my money on food and drink! Now I have more money to buy things or put towards Nepal.

I have taken the lead and organised a few things with friends which don’t revolve around food and drink. Date night has changed to we are getting out into Sydney and doing things we haven’t experienced yet. I think I will be discovering a whole new side to living in Sydney.

Being open about what I am doing with my friends has been great and talking with girlfriends about all the body hang ups we have makes me realize everyone is going through a similar thing. I watched the movie ‘I Feel Pretty’ and its a great movie. I think every women in the world has felt like Amy Schumer does in the opening scene.

I am sharing the journey of me getting ready for Nepal but I really wanted to share this side of the journey as well because I just feel so many of us are trying to loose weight and are not seeing the results. Don’t give up and if you are not seeing results go to the doctors, see if they can help you find a way to lose weight and become healthier. I will update on my progress with Optifast in a month.

If anyone has any questions on Optifast or just wants to have a chinwag about weight and being a woman just send me a message. Lets support each other and not bring each other down!

InstaTravel

Like everyone else I follow a lot of travel accounts on Instagram. When I am at work wanting to escape the desk for a minuet or looking for some travel ideas this is where I go. I think there amazing all of them…but it is always on the back of mind, how real are they?
I have traveled a lot and I decided to try and stay in Australia which meant finding a job, visas and saving money. My travel list was put on hold. I also have student loans to pay back and just general living cost. I am so baffled on how these young people travel around the world for most of the year in what looks like the most glamours way. I think it’s a great life they have but just wonder how they keep it up with the pressure of daily demands.
I have a month off work to explore Nepal and I can’t wait but it has taken a few months to save for airfare and deposits. The rest of these months I am working I will be saving up the remainder of my trip. It also uses all my annual holiday as well. I would like to know how people do so much travel and keep a job?
I do admire how glamours the photos are and the person in the photo looks flawless. I have to say when I went round South East Asia I was so far from flawless more just sweaty and hoped my clothes did not smell.
I would love to know how people do this please get in contact.
Shout out to the instagrams who are working the 9-5 grind but love the travel.
Any information on how that lifestyle works would be great.
Below is me and my not so Instagram flawless photo covered in mud and possible elephant poop!

Nimbin and Lillian Rock

The end of our Easter break was spent visiting Nimbin and Lillian Rock. I had not planned to go to Nimbin but as it was on route to Lillian Rock we decided to stop off. Leaving Byron behind us we headed up into the hills. It did rain most of the drive to Nimbin but it did not ruin the views looking over the valley.
Nimbin
Before I arrived at Nimbin I had in my head that this place would be a hippie, earth loving town which had cookies to share. I’m not into drugs so was not fussed at all about the cookies. I was however excited to experience the laid back hippie town after having such a good time with Byron’s vibe. As soon as we parked up we were straight on to the main street which was full of colourful rainbow and in your face shop signs. The shops looked very hippie but when you walked in they were owned by your average Joe and the shop all of a sudden turned into a novelty gift shop. On one part of the main street people would walk up to you whispering “magic cookies” it felt very dodge as we were just searching for a bottle-o to  purchase a bottle of wine for the night. When we had done a quick sweep of the main street we had seen enough and headed back o the car. In the car park we found a man wondering around the cars peering in and holding a narrow metal rod in his hand. This place did not give me any good vibes at all. Maybe I am old and boring now, Nimbin I will not be going back to visit.
Lillian Rock
We had the afternoon in Lilian Rock. We were staying at a Air BnB which was a farm called Whisingwell Farm. We turned down a dirt track and made our way to the house. We met our host who was lovely. Jenny showed us to our room and around the house. We had an ensuite room and access to a deck with a big BBQ and sink. We settled into our lovely rooms with no TV or internet just the mountain fresh air. The room was full of board games, we played a few rounds of ‘Guess Who?’ At 4PM we joined Jenny and the other 2 gusts for a tour of the farm at feeding time. If you stay at the farm this is worth doing it was a lovely thing to do especially when you live in the city. On our feeding tour we fed the ducks, ponies, goats and held baby ducklings. It was a lot of fun meeting the animals and hearing about how they came to be on the farm. MK and I took a stroll around the farm down to the river…it was short lived as MK saw a snake so we made our way back to the house as the sun set. Once we had made dinner we settled into bed reading and writing before having a early night. It was very relaxing and exactly what we needed before the big drive home the next day. We had purchased a breakfast off Jenny for $5. We were supplied bacon, eggs, tomatoes and bread in a basket. The next morning we cooked our breakfast on the deck and packed up the car. There were a couple of things we did not get to see in Lilian Rock as it rained on and off the whole day and night we were there.
 The last day of our Easter break was spent on the motorway driving back to Sydney. It was a pretty smooth drive with minimal traffic and one giant thunder storm just outside of Sydney. I think we both came back very refreshed from the weekend and ready to hit the city life once again.

Jervis Bay Long Weekend

For the long weekend September 2016 MK and I went down south to the Jervis Bay area. We rented a lovely AirBNB in Berrara. It was a house in the back of a property with a outside area to eat and cook. The town is a 30min drive from Jervis Bay The weekend was the first bit of summer weather we had that year.
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We explored the coastal town and we had dinner at The Huskisson which is great pub food and is set looking over the water. The days where spent laying on Hyams Beach or exploring the different areas around the National Park. You can drive round the park in a day and see all the beaches and walk up to the view points. When we went in September it was whaling season and we did see a few from one of the view points. It was a very relaxing weekend we did stumble into a country fair where I held a snake and we got some good food.
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On the drive to and from Jervis you do go through a town call Berry. It is worth a stop to grab a drink at the local pub and grab a bag of the famous Berry Doughnuts. Be prepared to sit in traffic on the way up and down from this place it is never a clear road.
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Avoca Bech

Avoca Beach is a small coastal town just a hour outside of Sydney.
I visited the town once for a friends Birthday. We booked into apartments in Avoca Palms Resort  which were modern and clean. There was also a pool and small gym on site. Not much use for the pool because you are on the door step of the beautiful Avoca beach.
The town has lots of little cafes and shops for all your weekend needs. We had breakfast at Point Cafe which is right on the beach and always packed. I would suggest booking ahead for this place. There are also huge markets every fourth Sunday the Avoca Beach Markets. They were very busy and full of colorful stands. I did not get to check them out as we headed home that morning.
In Terrigal we ate at a Indian restaurant called Rajdhani . It was one of the best Indian meals I have had in Australia. After dinner we walked up the street to a pub on the corner of the round about. Once that closed there was a courtesy shuttle to a street full of bars. After a few drinks we headed home which was a bit of a nightmare. The taxi services are pretty small and Uber was not available when I went. There was a bit of a wait for a Taxi to get back to the apartments.
For a cheap city escape which isn’t camping this is a perfect place to try during summer. Also on long drives back into Sydney Mk and I have stopped off for a swim and a break from the car as its not far off the motorway.