lake macquarie



Even though I love to complain about how boring New South Wales is, it couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, there are actually so many things to do as long as you're creative, and willing to step outside your comfort zone! Just recently I went up the coast to the Lake Macquarie area, which I've never visited despite it being less than two hours from Sydney. Still, that short trip away felt like a world of difference to me. Everyone we came across was just so relaxed and happy to strike up a conversation. Not to mention, there was no shortage of gorgeous views to take in.





With no plans set in stone we ended up spending half a day at Catherine Hill Bay, an awesome little beach with the bluest water I'd ever seen. We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves, which was right up my alley! I hate crowds with a passion, so that usually deters me from going to the beach more often in Sydney.







While the wharf itself was blocked off there were a lot of rock formations and old industrial structures around, which were fun to explore.





      





This was Caves Beach, another popular spot with a lot of small caves along the shore (no surprises there). Apparently this particular cave looks really impressive at sunrise, but you have to check the tides to make sure it's not full of water when you go!





Some pictures of the sunrise over Lake Macquarie on our last day. Anyway, even though it's been days now I'm currently recovering from a painful sunburn for the first time in my life. That'll teach me to apply more sunscreen next time, but apart from that I have no regrets! It's amazing how much a change of scenery can leave you feeling refreshed, not to mention more appreciative of the place you call home.
Posted by : Mani

favourite thrift finds

It's no secret that I'm obsessed with thrifting. In fact, it's probably safe to say that I come from a family of well-seasoned thrifters – my grandma is a regular at her local op shop, and forever adding to her already huge collection of clothes! While I don't condone hoarding, there's definitely something addicting about the thrill of finding something you love at a bargain price. Anyway, here are some of my favourite thrift finds I've amassed over the years:





Striped t-shirt: In my eyes, there are only two kinds of people – those who don't wear striped t-shirts, or those collect them by the bucketload. I definitely fall into the latter category... Striped tees are just so easy to throw on, and pretty much go with everything in my closet! This one's oversized and has a sturdy fabric, which is a refreshing change from the super-thin t-shirts I tend to see in the shops nowadays. I'm also loving the navy, which has slowly been taking over my monochrome wardrobe...



Denim jacket: I'll have to be honest, this jacket sat in my closet for a long time after I bought it. It's originally from the men's section and super roomy, but one day it just clicked and I haven't stopped wearing it since! I love that the fit's perfectly oversized, with just the right amount of heaviness to take me through all four seasons.

      

Striped midi skirt: While I usually go for miniskirts, this midi skirt is slowly becoming one of my go-to pieces. The print kind of reminds me of a barber's pole, and since it's monochrome it goes with most of the tops I own already. Oh, and did I mention that it has actual functioning pockets?! I'm not usually fussy, but that was a total dealbreaker for me.



Vintage print dress: I wore this dress in an outfit post awhile ago, but I'm still very much obsessed with it! It's rare that something from the thrift store fits me so well, so I obviously couldn't leave it behind. Even though I rarely wear prints I also thought this one was super cute, and something that will stand the test of time.



Sportscraft wool jacket: To be honest, I could've dedicated a whole post to my love for this jacket. It just may be my favourite item in my whole closet, and to top it all off it was the insane price of $20! Even though I don't tend to wear brown, this coat is so great for making any old outfit look polished. Now I just can't wait for colder days, just so I get the chance to wear it again...

There are sooo many things I could've included on this list, but left out for time's sake! Anyway, is anyone else out there an avid fan of thrifting? If you are, I'm dying to know – what's the best thrift find you've ever come across? Until next time!
Posted by : Mani

sydney snacks iii

For someone who loves eating so much, I'm really bad keeping up with food trends. In fact, while Sydney tends to be a breeding ground for them I've always been the type to visit the same places over and over... hence the idea for Sydney Snacks, a series in which I do mini reviews of the eateries I like to frequent! Most of these won't be new to you if you're following my Instagram, but I thought an update was in order since my last roundup was a while ago. Anyway, onto the food already!

      

Ever since Spice Alley opened just a few steps away from Central Station, I've been obsessed. In case you didn't know, this little slice of Asia is tucked away in a small side street in Chippendale. Its selection includes some amazing Malaysian, Thai, and Chinese vendors, with new additions constantly being added to the mix. My personal pick is the popular char kway tieu from Old Jim Kee, which had me sweating despite my love for all things chilli!
Kopi-Tiam Spice Alley Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 



      

Out of all the Korean options in the CBD Sydney Madang has to be my go-to place, and I'm sure I wouldn't be the first to say that! It's at the end of an alleyway that's easy to miss, but that doesn't stop the joint from being packed on most nights. Hotpot, savoury pancakes, Korean BBQ, and (my personal favourite) dolsot bibimbap... You name it, they have it and it's guaranteed to be good.
Sydney Madang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

      

The Choc Pot is the latest to join the line up of dessert cafes in Regent Place, and it's a very welcome addition. There you'll find things like decadent s'more hot chocolates, or fruit shakes if you're after something more cooling (I had the lychee one, which was super refreshing). I've heard their namesake dish is pretty good, but hear me out – this crepe was amazing. The combination of TCP's chocolate spread and crunchy praline nuts totally made my sister and I regret sharing it.
The Choc Pot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

      

Passionflower is a cute little ice creamery tucked away in Capitol Square, and has been around for as long as I can remember. That's not to say it's lost its charm, though – I mean, where else will you find green tea, black sesame, taro, and Thai milk tea ice cream in the same place? I definitely need to make a return visit and try all the flavours soon!
Passionflower Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Posted by : Mani