Feeling Healthy at the GoodnessMe Box Markets

For the last 4 months, the monthly GoodnessMe Box has been quite an edible highlight. Each box full of nutritious and delicious health foods that let you try a range of brands and products. Food delivered at your door; what could be better?

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the GoodnessMe Box Markets. After a light, shower during the day the weather cleared up for a perfect evening of food stalls, health food cookbook authors and gorgeous shining lights and flowers. I loved wandering around and trying every. single. thing. A few of them caught my attention and I left with a bag full of goodies, as well as a complimentary mini GoodnessMe Box.

The highlight of my night had to be listening to my favourite cookbook author and nutritionist, Jessica Sepel, speak! Her cookbook has inspired me so much in terms of health and wellbeing and introduced me to brussel sprouts!

Ending the evening with a delicious chicken salad from the Grounds diner, my evening couldn’t have been better.

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Until next week, I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!

xx Julia

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My Canberra Travel Guide!

Who knew that a trip to the perfectly landscaped streets and modern buildings of Canberra could be just the break I needed? Since the last time I’d been to my nations capital, it has developed quite a good food scene and has painted some colour on its roads – finally hit puberty! To save you from being trapped in the mindset that Canberra is boring, here is my little travel guide to keep you occupied and excited!

Where To Stay

Avenue Hotel
80 Northbourne Ave, Canberra ACT 2602

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Where To Eat

Marble and Grain
25 Mort St, Canberra ACT 2612

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Doubleshot Deakin Cafe
7/18 Duff Pl, Deakin ACT 2600

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Akiba
40 Bunda St, Canberra ACT 2601

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Frugii Dessert Laboratory
28 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, Canberra ACT 2612

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Urban Pantry
5 Bougainville St, Griffith ACT 2603

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What To Do

Australian Portrait Gallery
King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600

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Bus Depot Markets
21 Wentworth Ave, Kingston ACT 2604

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These are just the few things that I managed to fit into my 3 day adventure. As you can see, I took quite a few photos (and choosing just 4 from each place was a struggle). If you ever find yourself in Canberra, I would highly recommend paying any, if not every, one of these places a visit. And don’t forget to pick up a donut on the way 🙂

Until next week, I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!

xx Julia

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Five Fav Cafes in Sydney

As I’ve mentioned before, going out for breakfast is one of my favourite things ever. Having someone else cook you food and bring you coffee while you sit and enjoy the morning sun with a magazine is a fantastic feeling. In my time, I have visited many a divine establishment, and today I will share with you my current 5 favourite cafes that I’ve been to thus far.

Haven Tailoring Coffee Joyously – 30-34 Chalmers St, Surry Hills

What do you get when you cross egg waffles with matcha? Pure joy and delight. And that’s exactly what you get here. If matcha isn’t your style, there are some nutellary options on the table. Even if egg waffles aren’t your thing, they offer a range of other delicious items, all of which I am eager to try (if I ever get over the waffles…). With a rustic decor and coffee that you can tailor to suit your tastebuds, what more could you want from a quaint cafe just minutes from Central station? Definitely worth checking out!

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Espresso 96 – 96 Majors Bay Rd, Concord

A little less city, a little more great quality coffee and food. I particularly like their range of healthy choices, so going out doesn’t have to be a fattening feast. My personal favs are anything in a bowl: the Soul Bowl (veggies, toast and eggs) or their special Espresso 96 Big Bowl with chicken (sweet potatoes, buckwheat, chicken, eggs; you name it, they’ve got it). The coffee is also delicious, and the wait staff are always so friendly. A regular place for me: close to where I live and delicious! 10/10 would recommend.

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The Grounds of Alexandria – 7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria

What. A. Place. The wait may be long, but with a thousand other things to check out around the mini-city, you barely notice! Flower shops and lemonade stands are just the beginning. Then comes the actual cafe. The menu is creative and unique, ticking all of my boxes. Food comes out quickly and disappears off the plate in minutes as you can’t stop eating! More room? Check out their dessert counter and pick out a delicious cake or tart. What more could you want?

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The Tea Cosy – 33 George St, The Rocks

Maybe not ideal for a proper breakfast, but you simply cannot go past this place for a scrumptious morning or afternoon tea. The scones? Best I’ve ever tried. The atmosphere? Cute and cosy, just as the name suggests. This place is perfect for relaxing with a cup of tea and some scones with jam and cream (and it’s the good cream too, not just the whipped stuff). My personal suggestion? Cut the scone into 3 – you have more surface area to smother with the jam and cream. I’ve been here many times already and will return many more! Definitely try it if you’re in Sydney city!

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Luxe – 118 Queen St, Woollahra

A bit further away for me, but a great eat all the same. I still can’t get past the fact that they have a section on the menu of ‘bowls’. I love my food in bowls so of course that was the first thing I went for. And it did not disappoint! This place is full of classic cooking, but with a twist! Have you ever tried a deconstructed sushi bowl? Me neither. But it’s there, and it’s delicious. Tucked away inside a mall, it’s nice and quiet and a perfect chance to relax and chill out without life’s constant buzz. Definitely want to go back there again, and so should you!

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So there are my current top 5 cafes in Sydney. If you live here or are keen on visiting, I would highly recommend every one of these places for a delicious feed!

Be sure to let me know what you thought of this post in the comments, and until next week, I love you all and hope you have a great week! 🙂

xx Julia

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Melbourne in 30 Hours: Part II

For a 30 hour adventure, there is simply no time to slow down. The second day of my adventure was just as jam packed as the first!

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After a late start, a brisk walk to breakfast woke us all up. After an interesting meal in a little alley at Hashtag café, it was time to explore the city. First stop was Manchester Press café where I got myself a second breakfast of a dill cream cheese bagel and coffee – it was so delicious!

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Wandering the streets of Melbourne felt like a home away from home. The beautiful shops with screaming colours and styles captured my attention at every turn. Florists, ice cream shops and everything in between, there was always something exciting to look at and photograph.

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Chinatown was a quaint little spot on this journey, with bright colours littering the street at every level. Wandering a little further, I found my favourite spot of the day – a 100m alley with both walls covered in paint, graffiti and street art. It was fabulous!

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A trip on the tram was a comforting few moments to sit, before we were up again heading to Market Lane Coffee for the coffee and the gram (not going to lie). Followed by a simple lunch, we made our way back into the heart of town for one last go of exploring just as the sun began to set.

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Reaching the parliament house, we stopped for many, many photos before slowly making our way back to the hotel, stopping for a sugary waffle on the way. Bags packed and tickets ready, we head to the airport ready to depart from our adventurous travels.

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By the end of those 2 days, it felt like I had been there for a year and gotten to know the place like my second home. Travel is such a special part of my life where I can explore and discover so many new things, and I definitely suggest that you do too when the opportunity arises.

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As I’ve said before,

Well travelled and well read: two things I aspire to be.

xx Julia

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PPS I know I promised a vlog, which is all ready and made, but the website is not letting me post it so I’m sorry to say I can’t do that for you right now… Big apologies but I hope you like the photos!

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Melbourne in 30 Hours: Part I

Travel is always worth it. Whether it be for a year, a month, a week or a weekend, there is definitely a sense of joy and excitement when you take a break from your usual scene and immerse yourself in a whole new place.

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With my HSC just around the corner, big trips are not an option. But my perfect little adventure was a weekend in Melbourne. Yep. Fly in Saturday, fly out Sunday. But, oh the things you can do in 30 hours.

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Saturday was quite an adventure, hurrying to the South of Melbourne to spend daylight in St Kilda. This place was stunning – a small town with a big street full of shops, a gorgeous beach and, to my happy surprise, Luna Park Melbourne.

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First on the list was breakfast after not eating properly on the plane. 95 espresso bar did just the trick. With the cozy décor and riddles that came with coffee to keep you occupied, what more could one ask for? My pulled pork and applesauce benedict was simply superb and just what I needed. Coffee was also great and started my Melbourne weekend on a high.

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Now to burn off a big breakfast was a pleasant walk along the beach, taking pretty photos and meeting a few dogs! This was followed by my absolute favourite part: LUNA PARK! Not going to lie, we didn’t go on any rides but boy was it fun to run around and take photos. I was happier with my camera than I would have been on any ride! There was nothing stopping my pure delight as I ran from place to place, taking photograph after photograph.

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By then, all that running had me with quite an appetite. Time for some cakes from St Kilda’s infamous cake shops! After painstakingly having to choose what to order, we settled on a few little things and had ourselves a delicious mini cake feast. This was followed by a quick wander down the street of shops (and several sock purchases).

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What a way to end the day than by watching the sun set at the penguin lookout, the Melbourne city scape on one side and the ocean on the other.

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Beauty.

Quick trip to our hotel and we were off for dinner at an Italian restaurant in a quaint little alley. Ending the day with hot chocolates at the hotel bar, it really was a perfect day.

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Stay tuned for Day II and a VLOG next Friday! And be sure to check out my social media:
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‘Til then, I love you all and have a great week!

xx Julia

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Not Blue in the Blue Mountains

Everybody has that one place that they love to go that feels comfortable and relaxing when it’s time for a break. For me, this place is the Blue Mountains. It’s far enough away that the feeling of the busy city is paused, but close enough that we can make the trip back and forth in one day, getting there in time for breakfast.

A relaxing hour and a half drive later listening to music, we drove down the Leura main street and to Zest café for breakfast. Porridge and chai latte for me: it was okay – not incredible but good enough. This was followed by a relaxing walk up and down the street, popping into bookstores, kitchenware shops and another café for a takeaway coffee. Some photos with a pretty mural later, it was time for high tea!

Since the renovation of the Hydro Majestic, it’s always been an incredible place to visit. We sat down to high tea and were quickly served with incredible towers of finger sandwiches, tartlets and scones – my favourite. Accompanied by a lovely cup of tea, there is nothing I’d rather do on a Sunday.

Following this delicious adventure, we wandered around in some antique shops, grabbed a coffee and took a drive following the sunset to a lookout. After almost getting lost on a hilltop, the day came to an end and we drove calmly back into Sydney, eating chocolate and listening to Tchaikovsky.

What a stunning day! There is nothing quite like a spontaneous road trip! Comment down below any spontaneous adventures you’ve taken and we can all share in the excitement!

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Brunching at The Grounds

After all the hype that has surrounded The Grounds of Alexandria, I figured it was worth some investigating. My sister and I decided to try it for breakfast one day. After a bit of a sleep in, we arrived there at 11 only to be met with the worst parking dilemma ever. After no room in the first or second parking areas, we were sent to their third lot, about 300m from the place itself.

A pleasant walk later, we were told we’d have to wait 30-35 minutes to eat which we agreed to. This gave us ample time to wander around the huge grounds and pay a visit to all the different areas. We got seated about 40 minutes later right next to the kitchen – I loved it! Unfortunately we’d missed breakfast so the lunch menu was it. I still ordered a breakfast burger, accompanied by a deconstructed mocha – I was intrigued.

The mocha was awesome! You got to put together the drink and it looked really cool! The food came out fairly quickly as they had so many people to get through. My burger was quite delicious – I very much enjoyed it. My dish also came with crunchy polenta chips, which were also very nice. Overall, the meal was really tasty and I really enjoyed it

Before heading off, we tried a little mango and marscapone tart (beautiful!) and brought some pastries and bread from a stall outside. It feels like there is everything in this little space; I loved it!

For the café, I would definitely come back but not if I had to wait so long; that was a bit of a bummer. The rest of the place was also awesome and I noticed another quieter cafe that is also there which I am interested to try next time. If you can make it at a quiet time, I’d definitely recommend trying The Grounds!

xx Julia

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Practically an Artist – Diaspora Exhibition

Sometimes all you need is a nice night out with friends where you can dress up and go do something fun. On this evening, my friend and I head into the city for a very special event: the opening of an art exhibition by one of our school teachers. Not only that, but as her class we had all helped out in making some of the pieces and a few would actually be on display.

MOP studios in the darkened streets of Chippendale shone brightly as artists, friends and other people wandered around the gallery, champagne in hand, admiring the stunning pieces on display. The collection put on by our teacher, the largest on display that night, was of a collection of letters, images, fabrics and photos from her Paris art trip, many of which she and others had embroidered French-inspired patterns onto to make up her show.

I was absolutely thrilled to actually find my piece in there! I had worked really hard on it (even during English classes at school…) and was so excited that it was a part of the show. The rest of her pieces were stunning! The detail and creative ideas were beautiful. A superb experience, Diaspora was.

After the show, the French theme unintentionally continued with dinner at Surry Hills’ French Bistro. With savoury crepes all round, followed by an unquestionable crème brulee, this evening was surely one to remember!

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MOKOJI Japanese

It’s not often that I get to try out new places for dinner. It’s also not often that I’m exposed to a new type of food such as the Japanese barbecue found in Newington’s side streets. Alas, there is no better way to end a crazy school term than with a crazy new experience.

So there I was in a cozy restaurant, ready for the long-awaited Japanese. The lovely manager came and, seeing our obvious lack of experience, talked us through the menu and how to order. If the obscure menu wasn’t enough to suggest a complex and interesting dining experience, the food surely welcomed these concepts.

We ordered the Tuna Tataki and the Tiger Prawns for entrée, then the Mokoji Family Set with added Halloumi and rice for mains. The Tuna Tataki was beautiful, the flavours working perfectly, and the King Prawns followed suit, stunning Japanese flavours throughout. Then came mains – a huge variety of beef, pork and seafood along with vegetables and halloumi that we got to cook on our own grills. The whole process was extremely exciting and very different to anything else I’d tried. The food was fabulous, each meat working nicely with each corresponding sauce.

Last but certainly not least came dessert. First we were treated to huge marshmallows which we roasted at the flame, then a marshmallow board and a new dessert specials of Pumpkin Puree, Honeycomb, Mochi, Cinnamon, Black Salt, Popped Amarath and Sweet Coconut Milk. Gee what a mouthful! Exciting new and unique flavours to end the meal, and then just few mini spoonfuls of nutella to end.

Overall, a stunning experience which I thoroughly enjoyed. In my opinion, no better way to end the term than with a celebratory Japanese feast. I definitely suggest it if you’re in Sydney and looking for some awesome Japanese eats outside of the city.

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100 km Away

Life gets tough. With schoolwork, exams, music, friends, relationships and all other things that cloud your mind everyday, there comes a time when it’s necessary to just escape the crazy city and breathe in some fresh air.

Leaving school on Friday at 10:30am, by 11 my parents and I hit the road bound for Bowral. The long drive out of the city and into greenery already began to clear my mind. Stopping for lunch in Mittagong, stepping into the cold, fresh air was so clearing and nice that it almost didn’t matter that it was about 7 degrees. After a delicious lunch at The Glass Café and a quick trip to Berkelouw Books, it was finally time to head to Bowral and just relax.

Through that day and the next, I got to really relax and sort my mind out. In the place we stayed with our family friends, Berida Manor, I got to spend an hour and a half just reading – something I never have time to do. After dinner at a lovely Italian place with awesome food, the evening was spent around a fireplace in the common room of the Manor. This was so calming and relaxing and a nice way to unwind.

The next morning I decided to head to the gym and I actually joined in a class that was on there which was really fun and a great way to wake up and get moving. A pleasant breakfast later, I hopped on a train back to the city and back into reality.

Being 100km away from all of my problems felt fantastic. Being able to explore a new place and take time to myself to just relax and take a step back from my crazy busy life was amazing. We all need it every once in a while.

See you next week!
xx Julia

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