Monday, 10 March 2014

Left for Dead

Today, on a surprisingly hot Autumn afternoon, we stumbled upon a large empty industrial lot which had been converted into a field of somewhat deceased sunflowers.

So, naturally, we decided to play around in this eerie but cool floral cemetery.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Easy Peasy Bliss Balls

They're vegan, they're raw, they're healthy and they taste pretty freakin amazing.

I've never been a baker, a cook, or a chef of any sort. I burn toast and can barely manage microwave oatmeal. When I started getting into raw treats last year I felt like I was finally almost adequate at creating goodies in the kitchen, but really they're just ridiculously easy to make.

Trust me, if I can make these. You can too. Blind folded. With spoons for hands. You don't need to pre-heat an oven, soften butter or even own a carton of eggs. All you need is some basic fruits and nuts and a hungry stomach. If you've never tried these bad boys - prepare for your world to change.

I have zero photographic skills please don't judge me/the bliss balls by this photo. Taste them and see for yourself!


1 cup of whole walnuts
1 1/4 cups of pitted dates
1/2 cup of raw cacao
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup goji berries

  1. Place walnuts and cacao in the blender, pulse until finely ground.
  2. Add dates, one or two at a time, through the feed tube or lid hole whilst the blender is running. If the mixture consistency doesn't seem gooey or strong enough, add more.
  3. Scoop into a large mixing bowl and add chopped almonds and goji berries.
  4. Mix it up (hands are fine!) all together, ensuring you have a nice consistent texture throughout
  5. Break off desired amounts of mixture and roll into roughly golf ball-sized balls. Place on a tray with baking powder underneath and allow to cool in a freezer or fridge until ready to serve.

You can play around with the ingredients - add or subtract what you like but be sure to keep in the dates and cacao. If you're looking to mix it up I would recommend adding other superfoods like maca powder, chia seeds or even just some LSA butter! Next time I make a batch I'm going to roll them in some fine desiccated coconut and create a health-packed alternative to the rum-balls or truffles I ate as a kid.

PS. When using large amounts of dates, because they are so thick and gooey in nature, the blender blades can sometimes get a little overworked and need a break. If they suddenly stop, just turn it off, let it rest and crank that baby up again in a few minutes.

Good luck and enjoy!

Sunday, 29 December 2013


As the weather (finally) heated up in Melbourne, this quickly became a staple in my diet, and something I find myself happily eating all throughout the day. Who said you can't have dessert first?

If you know me, you'll know I cannot cook to save my life. I usually end up burning toast (maybe that's where my bircher muesli obsession started, I had to resort to cold food by default?). With that in mind, this is something even I can make, so it's definitely an easy one. This may even be the simplest recipe ever made... all you need is two ingredients - you can even do it with one!!

I'm talking about... raw banana berry ice cream!


  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries

  1. In preparation, break a bunch of bananas into 3 pieces (after removing the skin!) and freeze them in a zip-lock bag. Leave overnight or at least for a few hours - the colder the better.
  2. When all ingredients are frozen and ready, place them into the blender and pulse until you end up with a smooth, creamy texture. It should be soft, but you should be able to tip the blender container upside down without any falling out.
  3. Scoop into a big bowl, top with any desired fresh fruit, nuts or oats and enjoy!!
Too easy.

(It can also be made with pretty much any frozen fruit of your choosing, mango goes down a treat!)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

New York, New York: My 'Ultimate Guide' for things to do in The Big Apple.

Welcome to my first draft attempted ‘things to do in New York post’.

Since my latest visit to the states, I've had a couple of requests (okay more than a couple) to write a post about my favourite things to do/see/eat in New York City. Unfortunately, the more I (or others) tell myself I should do a certain task, my mind warps it from something fun and exciting that I was super psyched to to, into a homework-eqsue daunting and un-fun chore. I realise how ridiculous this mentality is but the more I try to convince myself to write a post, the less appealing it becomes.

Now I'm trying a different approach.

I'm just going to let my memory run wild and spill out any of the incredible places I like to go, things I like to eat and everything in between. Writing this will probably make me heartbreakingly nostalgic but hopefully also fondly reminisce and get excited for any future travels I or anyone reading this may take!

Okay so now that I've explained the unnecessary nonsense that had been occurring in my brain - let's begin! I’m writing this with the assumption that you know most of the the cliché touristy activities (tip – the Top of the Rock has a way better view than the Empire State building) but it will be a combination of places you'll find in a guide book and those you'd happily just stumble upon. I could honestly go on forever listing the great places in this city, so this is just a very condensed, brief overview with, in my humble opinion, the ultimate NYC to-do list.


Alice’s Tea Cup – There’s a few of these around the city and they’re designed all cute and make you feel like you’re at a tea party with the mad hatter. I recommend the lentil salad, giant iced teas and any of the scones!

Juice Generation – They do 5 different kinds of acai bowls. One has peanut butter. Enough said.

S’MAC – I’ve never been here myself but I know a lot of people enjoy some mac ‘n cheese, so this place would be heaven! You can choose from their extensive menu or build your own, including vegan and lactose free options.

Shake Shack – This place is pretty popular. Actually no, this place is so popular that even though I’ve twice stayed within 100 metres of it, I’m yet to try it because there is always a line so long that it snakes all down the block. These guys are all over the city and I think a similar style to In’n’Out? They do burgers, hotdogs, fries, shakes, ice cream and something called ‘concretes’ that I think is similar to a McFlurry but more delicious. Nicole, I PROMISE you I will try their ‘shroom burger next time I’m in town.

Peanut Butter & Co. shop – You can buy their nut butters on sandwiches, with fruit or by the jar. There are a lot of flavours and they’re all delicious. Just do it.

Chobani store – This place was uber exciting for me as I’ve been a big Cho fan for years. You can either pick an option from their menu (I recommend pistachio + chocolate, blueberry + walnut or mango + avocado – yum), or create your own invention! The best part? They let  you keep the bowl.

Dylan’s Candy Bar – It’s owned by the daughter of Ralph Lauren, Mary-Kate and Ashley go there, and they sell Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs. It’s basically the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory of New York. Check out the Candy Time Capsules featuring sweets from your favourite era!

The Food Emporium – This probably isn’t that exciting to the majority of you, but it is to me – for two reasons. The first is that it’s the local deli closest to where I often stay in New York, meaning I would head there for a meal at least once a day. There’s a supermarket downstairs and upstairs is a café, salad bar, sushi and pizza station, shelves of protein bars and pre-packaged fruit salads. The coolest part for me is the salad bar, which we’re only starting to introduce back in Australia. The second reason this is significant in my heart is that it’s mentioned in my favourite musical Rent! (Collins re-wires the ATM here with the code A-N-G-E-L to provide money for the starving and broke).

Whole Foods: I still don’t know why Australia wont open one already but if we don’t soon I may have to initiate it myself. This place is absolute heaven for health food nuts like me. They are committed to community giving, health promotion, recycling and other eco-friendly practices, organic farming, sustainability, animal welfare and a bunch of other great stuff. They have DIY nut butter churners, walls and walls of takeaway fruit (the ultimate fast food), cold pressed juices, every cereal, nut butter and protein bar you could imagine and oh my god – the salad bar. I once filled a salad box with things like quinoa, beetroot, spinach, sweet potato, felafels, hummus, pumpkin, corn, grilled eggplant and about 20 other ingredients, all for like $7.80. I could have cried. In fact it makes me tear up at the thought that we don’t have them here. Soon….. soon.


SoHo – If you only have one day and want to hit lots of cool US shops, this is the place to go. Broadway, specifically, is home to some of the greats; Urban Outfitters, Bloomingdales, Topshop, H&M, Brandy Melville, Sephora, the list goes on. Plus, if you’re a HP nerd like myself, you will love the merch at the Scholastic store.

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market – Open every Saturday and Sunday from 9-5 year round, this was named one of the ‘Top 10 Shopping Streets in the World’ by National Geographic. The perfect place to find cool antiques, collectibles, vintage clothing, artwork, jewellery and more. Great for bargain hunters like me!

Forever 21 – The store in Times Square is 4 levels high, stays open til 2am, and surprisingly isn’t too crowded. They are the perfect place to go for cheap and awesome activewear (think $12 sports bras with matching shorts in every possible colour), cute jewellery and just about everything in between.

Thrift Stores – Finderz Keeperz, Goodwill, Housing Works, Junk, Buffalo Exchange, Urban Jungle.

A few touristy indulgences:

Grand Central Terminal – This place is especially exciting if you’re haphazardly jumping on a last-minute super crowded train out to Long Beach to see your favourite childhood boy band play a show during a thunder storm. I’m sure it’s still cool otherwise, though.

Brooklyn Bridge – Running between Brooklyn (obviously) and Manhattan, this thing gives you one of the best views of the city, is a great mode of transportation and is generally just awesome to look at. I wouldn’t want to commute via the bridge daily (nor by bike) for the herds of people, but on a nice day - this mighty structure is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll.

The High Line – ONE OF THE COOLEST THINGS EVER CREATED. This used to be the old New York Central Railroad and was transformed into a public park above the streets. There’s plenty of green, sundecks, food vendors (think popsicles and gourmet tacos) and generally pleasant people.

The Rockerfeller Centre Christmas Tree – I’m s sucker for anything Christmas-y, and when you combine a 80-foot tree, covered in 30,000 lights and surrounded by toy soldiers, snow and merry ice-skaters – you can’t help but be happy.

Coney Island – This place will always make me think of Dakota Fanning and Brittany Murphy in Uptown Girls, and I’m okay with that. It’s weird, it’s fun, it’s very American.

The Friends Apartment - At one point, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross all lived there. Hot cousin Cassie for a few days too, before the incest got too strange. Visit the building that served as the exterior for Apartment 20, and if you're a SATC fan you can also visit Magnolia Bakery nearby.


Central Park – It’s the heart of the city to me and there’s just so much to DO and SEE. You can check out the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, Strawberry Fields, the baseball diamonds, hire a bike and ride around, rent boats on the lake and pretend you’re in Stuart Little, perve on attractive suntanning strangers, hit the zoo, belvedere castle, bow bridge, the carousel, delacorte theatre, the pool/ice skating rink (depending on the season).

Film Forum – The only autonomous non-profit cinema in the city and has been open for over 40 years, they play a variety of international, social, political, historical and cultural films. You can watch indies, documentaries, foreign cinema and old classics. Also famous for their concession stand lemon-poppy sponge cake!

MoMA – Aka the Museum of Modern Art, this place was one of the only museums I actually liked (honourable mentions go to City Public library for their gift shop and the Met for their kick-ass cookie ice-creams in the cafeteria). Moa showcases works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, books, films, pretty much every possible form of contemporary art you could imagine.

Night Yoga – Run by Laughing Lotus on Friday nights at midnight, this could be the perfect way to cleanse your thoughts from the day and get you ready for sleep. 

Union Square – I couldn’t decide what to put this under, because it can involve both food and shopping but to me always involves fun. The square itself houses some personal favourites – Whole Foods Market, Barnes and Noble, Forever 21 and like 3 Starbucks, but the best part for me is the Sunday farmer’s market. If you go, be sure to buy one of the giant vegan carrot cookies. They’re lifechanging.

Gospel Church – Oh man, this was one of my favourite memories from my 2010 New York study trip. Although we were all overwhelmed with the most powerful jet lag known to man, sitting in those pews and getting to experience an incredible gospel choir sing, praise the lord and share their joy on a Sunday morning was unforgettable.

Late Night Talk Shows – I’m pretty sure you’d have to actually sell your soul to the devil (or sleep with an NBC page) to score tickets to Saturday Night Live, but it’s definitely worth trying for The Colbert Report. Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman or even The View.

Bryant Park - One of my favourite places in the entire city. The BP hotel is just so freaking classy (it's black with gold embellishes) and the park is super pretty too. There's great events on here in the summer like movies at night, Broadway in the park (performances of current and old musical numbers with the cast) and even yoga. The perfect place to relax, grab something to eat or drink (Jamba Juice across the street next to the Asics store), catch up with a friend or read a book. 

Non-negotiable things you must do whilst in New York:
  • Ride the subway
  • Eat a slice of pizza the size of your head
  • See a Broadway show
  • Go to a sports game (baseball, basketball or hockey)
  • Visit Times Square at 3am and marvel at it's brightness
  • Picnic in Central Park on a nice day
  • Allow yourself to get lost without a map

There are so many more places and things I could mention, but those are definitely some of the best.
I hope you love the city as much as I do!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Girls' Night In

Last Sunday I attended an event hosted at my dear friend Ariel's house by her and her sisters.
The three girls were chosen to be ambassadors for The Cancer Council and their fundraising campaign - Girl's Night In.

The GIN was basically all about getting together to raise both funds and awareness for a great cause, whilst having a fun night with inspiring ladies and incredibly delicious, healthy treats. I can't even really put into words how wonderful the night is so I've decided to show you through representational (albeit slightly blurry) photos.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

A Magical Night of Well-Mannered Frivolity ϟ

Last night I fulfilled what must have been a dream since 2000, after the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (holy hippogriffs, how did that come out thirteen years ago?). I got to metaphorically step into the world of witchcraft and wizardry, literally step into a beautiful floor length gown and party with my fellow HP loving friends, as well as some new faces from two other schools. 

Last night, I went to the Yule Ball.

The Harry Potter club at my uni, along with the clubs at two others, got together and organised this incredible, magnificent night. I'd only ever been to one fancy event in my life (Year 12 formal) and was therefore greatly excited to dress up and pretend to be a dignified, beautiful and classy young lady again. Mostly I just wanted to rock a pretty dress.

We all gathered at my friend's house, where we were welcomed warmly with questionable mixed drinks, took a couple of photos and hopped into the maxi taxi. Not exactly an enormous ship or flying-horse pulled carriage, but I'll take it. It's probably more of a challenge to take selfies when inside a submerged vessel, anyway.

Upon arriving at the venue, inside the door stood a life-size replica of the trio, a table full of goblets, owls and fake cobwebs, plus a board with our table numbers and names on it. It was created on beautiful old parchment (aka coffee stained paper that we used to make for projects in grade 5) and was even embossed with an owl stamp. My friends and I were originally seated at Hagrid's Hut, but graciously relocated to Godric's Hollow to accomodate some seating shortages. 

One of the first things I noticed on the table was our menu. It was a legitimate replica of the marauder's map (I made sure to bring two home) and each dish was written out as though fit for the back-to-school Hogwarts dinner. It included blast-ended skrewts (spinach and ricotta cannelloni), dragon-flamed augery (lemon pepper chicken) and Dumbledore's Lemon Sherbet Surprise (lemon curd tart), among other magical and delicious things. We definitely got our money's worth and I think I may have been one of the only few to actually finish all courses plus dessert. No one else would stand a chance at the Halloween feast.

In between all the tables was the dance floor, where we grooved to all the typical event songs; Jesse's Girl, Stacey's Mom, Sk8er Boi... there was even a Grease medley. The most special song of the night (and my personal favourite) was non other than 'Do The Hippogriff' by the Weird Sisters. Amongst a bunch of fully-fledged potter-heads, that one went off. Between courses, one of the organisers hosted a Hogwarts dance-off, where each house got up together and boogied their best for one song. The Hufflepuff's got the Macarena, Ravenclaw had the Nutbush, Slytherin danced to Barbie Girl and The Gryffindor's got down to Single Ladies. Understandably, Gryffindor took the (metaphorical) cup.

I felt like Hermione any time I walked down a set of stairs (and prayed internally that I wouldn't fall), slightly wishing I'd forked out the $345 for her ruffly pink dress from the store at Wizarding World last year, but I did enjoy rocking a more Pansy Parkinson-eqsue black number. I ran into some high school friends, even some primary school friends, and for the most part made some great new ones. I stayed later than the rest of the girls at my table, so I hit the dance floor with a mix of kids from other schools. I danced for a while with a nice Slytherin boy, and even took a photo with a Ron Weasley doppelganger. It was just so exciting to be surrounded by like-minded people, equally as enthusiastic about something and just having one heck of a good time.

All in all, it was one terrific night!

Scroll below for photos :)

I'm super good at photos.

Me and Ron plus some photo bombers


Our table was number 7, aka the most magical number of all.

Selfies are just more fun when you're wearing a floor-length dress

Me & Haz.

No sign of Myrtle, thankfully.

After almost having a heart attack seeing this on the D-Floor, I scored this awesome ring.
Ron's not a big fan.

Swiped this on my way out!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Travel Journal Part 3: New York City

So, yes. This has been a long time coming. I got back over a month ago and have only now found enough time to finally compile a post for my third and final destination of this trip.Thank goodness for my line-a-day journal, I packed so much into my one week in the big apple that I never would have remembered it all to write here.
Here's a recap of my time in NYC!

Day 1 - July 17

Our plane landed at 5am and as soon as I stepped off the plane it was as though a miracle had occurred. Despite being bed-ridden for two days prior, fainting every time I stood up and getting carted through LAX in a wheelchair (though I did insist against that), the second we reached JFK I felt a million times better. Call me crazy, but I think love can do pretty powerful things. Like heal my immune system.

We got to the hotel just before 7am, only to find there had been a miscommunication, our booking for the night prior (so we could check into the room right away) hadn't been confirmed. Still on my I'm-in-New-York-nothing-can-break-this-happiness mood, I couldn't care less. I suggested we crash on the couches at one end of the large, newly renovated lobby, and that's just what we did - until the front desk called us at around 9am and said that our room was ready.

Originally, the plan was to take it easy the first day. In fact, just one day earlier mum had been so concerned about my health she thought I might not even be up to getting to New York, let alone leaving the hotel so soon. We napped until 2 and then headed straight to our favourite deli for breakfast/lunch/afternoon tea even though it was dinner time on our body clocks. I got an almond choco-loco Chobani and watermelon, plus a tuna bagel to go. Popped into McDonalds next door to use the wifi, shot an email to dad and did a bit of researching for the week ahead. Bought a large McFlurry because they still sell the oreo ones and they're the size of my arm. Also because the security guard there always accused me of loitering if I went 30 minutes without ordering something again.

Walked to Times Square that night, shopped around and stayed in Forever 21 until 1am, oops. Bought 4 sports bras, some matching running shorts, two hands worth of rings and some other groovy tops.

Perfect first day.

Day 2 - July 18

Had a quick breakfast in the room (Chobani, watermelon and Kashi cereal of course) and headed over to one of my favourite places in the city - Bryant Park. It was a sweltering hot day, it reached 100 degrees even before 11am but I was loving every second. We found seats in the shade to the edge of the grass, and each collected one of the paper fans they were distributing.

Every Summer, New York puts on an event called Broadway in Bryant Park where they have a few performances each week from different musicals currently showing. Ours were The Phantom of the Opera (which still to this day scares the yeezus out of me), Chicago, Sistas the Musical - the story of African-American women through top 40 songs since the 60s and a modern, off-broadway show about young adults called F#%cking Up Everything. As you might expect, I instantly fell in love with both Sistas and FUE, but another pleasant surprise was recognising a cast member from FUE, who was in my favourite musical from last year - Bring It On. His name is Jason Gotay and I may have actually squealed upon seeing/hearing him, it just made me so excited to be reconnected to something I fell so in love with. Sadly we weren't able to get tickets for those two shows but I know they would have been amazing.

We then sought refuge from the heat inside the NYC Public Library, which some might recognise from the Sex and the City movie where Carrie goes to get married. The architecture is every bit as breathtaking in real life, but my favourite part was the gift shop. I honestly could spend hours in there, pouring over old fashioned journals, book related souvenirs (i.e. Gatsby pencil cases), maps, history books of the city, and best of all - a book that compared photos of specific landmarks and areas within NYC from hundreds of years ago to how they looked today. 

Next we headed across the street for a refreshing Jamba Juice (apple & greens, always), and popped into the Asics store next door. I was infatuated with two very colourful pairs but couldn't choose so ultimately decided to come back another day. Stopped in at the NBC store on the way home and picked up a few birthday presents and just admired the collection of Friends, The Office and Community merchandise. That night we went out to a musical called Let It Be, which, although featuring songs, costumes, themes and characters of The Beatles, could not legally mention them in any way. It was still very awesome and I felt like I was a true Beatlemania fangirl at a concert at the peak of their fame.

PS. Finally got onto Peta and Caitlin and finalised plans!

Day 3 - July 19

Started off the day with a HUGE acai bowl (featuring almond butter and coconut) from Juice Generation down on 9th, then headed to Central Park to meet Peta and Caitlin (!!). We hugged, we walked, we sweated. We paid something like $4 each and went out rowing on the lake for an hour, blasting old school Jojo, Jonas Brothers and pretending we were in Stuart Little. Out on the lake we soon faced a dilemma; Peta was by far the strongest, I was mildly capable and sadly Caitlin proved to be the weakest of us all, which lead to often rowing around in circles as two people had to manoeuvre the oars. Most of the time I let them take the lead while I sat at the back facing them, yelling "STROKE" and feeling like a Winklevoss twin. 

After this vigorous workout (and near heatstroke) we ventured off towards a cafe of Caitlin's choosing, Alice's Tea Shop. Everything was Wonderland themed, from the menu to the decorations. I got a gigantic warm lentil salad and we all enjoyed refreshing iced tea out of very large goblet-style mugs. This is definitely a hidden gem in the city and I recommend it to all - I think there are three locations.

We then decided to get our shop on and after I'd mentioned my love of it, we got the subway to Broadway, SoHo. By this point my shoes felt like they were melting so we were happy to go into pretty much any store, it was just lucky that SoHo has pretty much all of my favourites; American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, TopShop, H&M, Brandy Melville, Forever 21 and a whole lot of Starbucks (Peta bought about 10 Valencia's so I learned that it wasn't only a place in Spain nor - more importantly - an Instagram filter). After a couple of hours, a few heavy shopping bags and many white girl coffee drinks, we decided we needed a few hours in air conditioning so we bought some froyo and went to see our boy Darren Criss in Girl Most Likely (with Kristen Wiig). Back at the apartment that night we consumed delicious ice cream and a yogurt so life-changing we went out in search of more around midnight. That night also saw one of the scariest, most surreal experiences of my life and I don't even know if I can quite put it into words. 

We had a supernatural encounter up on the rooftop of the apartment and Caitlin and I were close to tears, while poor (or lucky) Peta missed it and was stuck in her cynical, non-believing ways. What happened up there that night changed us, or at least changed me and the things I thought I believed in. 

Day 4 - July 20

Went to Red Rocket tattoo parlour and organised (booked?) Peta's freaking awesome tatt. The woman who booked it wasn't in the greatest of moods but the lady who was actually inking her up was super friendly and super cool. Went to Macy's. Remembered I don't like Macy's. 
Took the subway up to Union Square and finally got back to do some shopping at the farmers' market. Paid my daily visit to Whole Foods, this time stocking up on a double punnet of blueberries (for $2, I'll never get over that) and a delicious green pressed juice.

Then, I made some very last minute decisions, very quick and hopeful phone calls and a sprint across to OfficeMax to use their printer and managed to organise tickets and transportation to the Jonas Brothers concert that night out at Long Beach. I had known about this miraculous coincidence for a few months but never truly believed the stars would align for things to work out - until they did.

For those playing along at home, I should mention that these boys had been my favourite band for around 6 years, my teenage hopes and dreams, and (despite having written a song about us and gone on multiple ""world"" tours) had never come to Australia. 

It was an emotional, exciting, overwhelming, hurried and incredible night. The experience never felt real and even now I still can't completely comprehend it. With literally no time to waste, we rushed to Penn Station, bought tickets and after much, much confusion, boarded a train. We had to then get a bus out to Long Beach, which was less crowded and allowed me to eat my pre-show snack of mini pretzels and listen to some old school JB to get in the zone.

The concert was perfect. 
Karmin was the support act and though I'd never heard of them, I definitely jammed to every song and really enjoyed their set. The rain held off but storm clouds were threatening, but when the boys came on, nobody cared. I couldn't (and again, still can't) believe I was seeing them in front of me with my own eyes, the fantasies of my thirteen-year-old self all coming true. They played a bunch of old songs, as well as a bunch of new ones, and much to my delight/surprise - WYLMITE. I couldn't even pretend to hold back my emotions at that point. 
The heavens opened up during Burning Up but we continued to rock out through the thunder, lightning and rain. It only made it all the more exciting and it was a nice refreshment from the wild dancing and flailing. I also nearly died of laughter when they played Gotta Find You from Camp Rock. It's nice to revisit your roots, I guess?

 I got a few pretty good videos on my camera that night which I may someday post on my other blog, to remember one of the best nights of my life.

Day 5 - July 21

Finally got around to something I'd been looking forward to all year - a morning run through Central Park. (When I say run I mean jog and when I say jog I mean jog-walk) 
I grabbed a big Jamba Juice afterward, had a shower and then went with Caitlin and Peta to see The Joe Moses Showses. This was another very emotional experience for me, and not in the way I had expected. After being seated, the girl (a stranger) next to me turned and said "Hey, just so you know, Anthony Rapp is sitting over there" - then the lights went down.
The show started but my head was in my hands and I wasn't able to explain to the girls the importance of the information I had just learned. Anthony Rapp, for those who might not know, is an actor very well known in Broadway circles, famous for his portrayal of Mark in Rent, but also a person who inspired, touched and truly shaped part of who I am today. That musical is so much a part of me and my friends lives, and his autobiography was so honest, truthful and inspiring that I felt like he'd just opened up his heart personally to me. He was also in Adventures in Babysitting as a kid if anyone watched that. Point being, this man has had a profound influence on my life and learning that he was sitting just a few metres away made it difficult to focus on the show, but thankfully Joe, Tessa and Curt are all hilarious and extremely talented so I was able to enjoy their outrageously witty and relevant show. Favourite segments included The Potion Master's Corner (obviously), audience-participated Le Mis skit and Tessa's song about fangirls.

After the show I got to meet both the gang and Anthony himself, which was unbelievable. We waited for most of the other fans to leave (thank god Peeta is a Rent/Broadway-head too and was just as excited as me) and then actually got to spend some time talking with Anthony, as though we were just hanging out as friends. He was very quiet, very soft spoken and almost awkward, but I guess meeting strangers who know so much about you would be an uncomfortable situation. I got him to record a video wishing my cousin a happy 21st birthday after explaining she was the one who introduced me to Rent all those years ago. He also kindly invited me to a charity event the following night after I mentioned I'd recently seen (his Rent castmate) Idina Menzel in concert, who (along with Whoopi Goldberg, Taye Diggs and Adam Pascal) would be appearing, not knowing that it required a very formal and official invitation.

After saying goodbye there, we went a few stores over into a pizza joint (or was it kebabs??). I can still remember that feeling of elation, as I danced to The Jackson Five playing in store, much to the delight of the man behind the counter. The girls ate while I browsed the buddha shop across the street, made new friends and purchased a new ring. We then strolled back towards the subway and I parted ways with the girls, who were getting on a bus to Orlando that night. 

Day 6 - July 22

Started with the usual breakfast in the hotel room, then caught the subway out to SoHo again.
Bought things from Forever 21, H&M, Aldo, and finally got to visit a place I'd always wanted to - the Strand bookstore (it's pretty famous in itself but even more special for a Rachel Cohn and David Levithan reader). The place is HUGE with (I think) 5 floors and millions of books stacked to the ceiling in isles. I miss Borders but I'm so very glad that an independant bookstore like that still exitsts - I spent a good two hours in there but could easily have stayed all day. I ended up buying 6 books, putting at least 5 back because I couldn't justify the weight in my suitcase. Sad, sad moment. My favourite part of the store is at the back on the ground floor where they have all these ancient, secondhand books. They smelled incredible.
Another much anticipated visit was to the Chobani store for lunch, where they not only stock the entire range (flip, bite, champion, tube, fruit on the bottom, regular, you name it - they had it), but a menu of freshly made combinations to choose from. I opted for the blueberry-walnut-brazil-nut-chia-seed mix which I posted on Instagram. The coolest thing about the Chobani store is that after you're finished eating you can give them your bowl (glass with the name on the side) and they give you a clean one to take home and keep. I have two, a small and a large, which I know I will have in my own kitchen for a very long time.

Hit up the Whole Foods salad bar again for dinner, which I don't think I'll ever stop missing. From what I can remember, I filled my box with quinoa, raisins, beetroot, corn, spinach, tomato, grated carrot, kale, sweet potato, grilled eggplant and mushroom, chickpeas and other lentils, felafel balls, peas and sprouts. For $6. God I miss Whole Foods. I also got the biggest and most delicious granola & nut bar (it was the size of two iPhones and I ate it right then and there after dinner because seriously, it was unbelievable).

Realised later I was probably so hungry because we'd been shopping (and thus walking) for nearly twelve hours. New York sure keeps you fit!

Day 7 - July 23

Early morning yoga in Bryant Park! I was super excited about this and although yoga always challenges (see: nearly kills) me, I absolutely loved it. It was great to be surrounded by fit and active people, enjoying the perfect weather and getting in touch with our bodies and breathing. After the class, we headed to Jamba Juice for rejuvenating smoothies, and then again to the Asics store (where I finally made a decision and purchased my new babies!). Went back to the Chobani store for lunch (this time I got a mango-mint-chocolate concoction) and then over to Central Park to rent bikes (!!!). We first enjoyed a leisurely ride through the greenery, then had to peddle like mad men after going far too far and having to get the bikes back in time. We ended up frantically (and exhaustingly) riding from 110th to 60th street and made it in just under an hour (slightly over the twenty minutes we had originally booked). I was as red as a tomato and sweating like crazy, so it wasn't exactly the picturesque casual afternoon ride I'd been planning, but it was definitely a vigorous workout. 

Headed to the very well disguised Columbus Circle Whole Foods to drink three litres of water each, as well as buying my stash of nut butter, cereal, energy bars and powerfood mixes to bring home. After showering back in the room we split up to try our luck at the lotteries for Matilda and Kinky Boots, both to no avail. Instead, we spent the rest of the night shopping (bought makeup at Mac, leather overalls at H&M and some adorable ring holders at Forever 21), and had just as much of a good time. Heading back to the room we stopped by the deli and grabbed a pint of Ben & Jerry's (our last-night tradition flavour - Americone Dream) which we split in half and devoured bitter sweetly.

Day 8 - July 24

We went to the organic deli/health store around the corner that I'd been eyeing for our last day breakfast. Split a bowl of bircher muesli, a bowl of yogurt, fruit and granola, and couldn't help but buy the most enticing smoothie I'd ever heard of - almond coconut bliss. We went back to Rockerfella Centre for last minute purchases and with hopes to meet my friend Boyd at the Top of the Rock, but sadly we both got held up and didn't have the time to hang out. (Next time Boyd!! We have to conquer the states together)

After finishing packing, taking a few final sad hotel room selfies, we hailed a taxi and set off for the airport. The rest, I suppose, is history!

New York, you somehow manage to capture my heart more every time, and the ache I feel after leaving only intensifies too. You will always be my first love, my strongest love, and I know we will be together again soon - hopefully next time for much longer.

Always yours,


Here are some more random photos from my time in the city!

Until next time!