sakura in bloom

Well, hello there stranger! It feels like a whole season has passed since I last blogged, which probably isn't much of a stretch since it's officially spring in Australia tomorrow. I really don't have any excuse besides the fact that my life has been pretty boring, and therefore pretty un-blogworthy lately. However, over the weekend I did visit Auburn Botanical Gardens for its annual cherry blossom festival. Entry was free for those wearing a kimono or yukata, but I opted out since I had to go by public transport. Maybe next time...


As the Japanese saying goes, the cherry blossoms are like life itself – short but beautiful. In fact, they're usually only in full bloom for a few days, so sadly most of the flowers were past their prime when I visited! Nevertheless the rest of the gardens are still quite enjoyable, just like a slice of Japan nestled in the Sydney suburbs.

They even have animal enclosures in the gardens complete with kangaroos and wallabies, but naturally I only took pictures of the peacocks. Anyway, here's to the changing of the seasons! While I'll usually say that I prefer winter, I'm so ready for longer days and weather that doesn't make me want to rug up like an eskimo. Yessss.
Posted by : Mani

gallery tea lounge

For someone who's such a self-proclaimed sweet tooth, I've only been to a handful of high teas in my lifetime. While my list of places to check off reaches the floor, it just seems like there's never an occasion special enough for high tea because it's just so... extravagant. So naturally, it was pretty special when I visited the Gallery Tea Lounge at the Sheraton a few weeks ago for a friend's 21st! Throw in the buffet aspect of it, and oh my glob. To say that I was in sugary, cream-filled heaven would be an understatement...

There’s the option of a teapot for each person included in the price ($49 per head), but you can also get hot chocolate or coffee if you’re so inclined. True to form, I got plain old English breakfast tea, although they also had Earl Grey and green tea options.


There’s just no good way of photographing buffet food, but those cakes were SO good. Pistachio mousse, flourless orange cake and blueberry cheesecake, not to mention a nice selection of savouries. Did I mention there was a waffle station with various toppings and ice cream?! I definitely need one in my future home now.


My only regrets? Not taking a box of goodies home with me. To really get your money's worth you'd probably have to eat way more than I did, even I though I was practically rolling out the door when two hours were up. In fact, I was feeling the after effects of all that sugar for the rest of the day and well into the next morning, if that’s any indication of how much I ate... Anyone else out there a fan of high tea? Tell me about the best one you've been to!
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Posted by : Mani

7 facts about me

And now, time for something completely different (and slightly self-indulgent). It's been awhile since I've done a good old blog tag, so thanks Audrey from Brunch at Audrey's for nominating me in the versatile blog award! The general gist is that you have to share seven things about yourself, which I always find interesting to read on other blogs. In fact, I made a post covering thirty facts about me awhile ago, but I'll try not to repeat things I've already mentioned. Without further adieu...

1. Whenever people ask what kind of music I like, I never know what to say. My library's an annoying mix of random songs that I become obsessed with, so I can't really say that I prefer a certain genre! Whether it's K-pop, 90s RnB, or mainstream, if I like the song I'll blast it until it's pretty much dead to me.

2. I'm a total hoarder. I'm pretty sure this one's hereditary, because my grandma literally has rooms of stuff stashed away in her home. Anyway, my hoarding extends to make up, stationery, random bits of paper... Needless to say, it's becoming a real epidemic.

3. It's almost impossible for me to fall asleep in public places. Call me paranoid, but I don't get how some people can sleep on the train! How the heck do they know when to wake up in time for their stop? Don't even get me started on people who shamelessly sleep at uni... Personally, I'd rather not become Facebook famous haha.

4. I've only ever travelled within Asia and Australia. I'm definitely not as well-travelled as I'd like to be, since life's always getting in the way. Nevertheless visiting Europe and America's on the top of my bucket list, even though I don't have plans for it in the foreseeable future.

5. I'm really squeamish. Whether someone tries to tickle me or touch my neck, I freak out. Just a word of warning – don't even try touching me. Not because I hate it, but because I might actually end up punching you in the face.

6. I'm obsessed with thrifting. In fact, I'm pretty sure my closet is made up of more thrifted clothes than new ones by now.

7. I’ve probably been learning Japanese for eight years now. And despite studying it for that long, I could hardly say I'm very fluent in it. That being said, continuing classes in uni was probably one of the best decisions I've made. It's always cool to be able to say you know another language, and I've definitely picked up some useful study tips as a result (would anyone be interested in a post about that, by the way?)

I'm tagging Philippa from Cocoskies, Tannya from Tanaditya... aaand anyone who happens to be reading and wants to do it, because I'm a cop out. Does anyone out there share one of my weird quirks? Let me know!
Posted by : Mani