Peanut Butter Choc Protein Balls

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Peanut Butter Choc Protein Balls :)

I’m by no means a “clean eater” or “gym junkie” but this new protein-chocolate snack craze has caught my attention.
My dad’s what you would call a classic gym junkie. His idol is Arnie – need I say more? :P

Anyway, I was thinking of making him something to snack on or something to enjoy for dessert because he’s trying to lose weight and gain more muscle. I decided that to start the uni holidays off, I’d get in the kitchen and whip up some peanut butter choc protein balls.

They’re quick, easy and delicious!

What you’ll need

1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter (light)
1 scoop chocolate whey protein (I used what my dad had, but any brand will do)
½ cup rolled oats
1 Tablespoon honey
*optional* dried coconut (shredded) to coat balls

Simply mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and roll into around 7-8 balls. If you’re coating them in coconut, roll them in that and chill in the fridge.
*Note: You may need to add more honey depending on how well the mixture sticks together.

And there you have it –delicious and sweet peanut butter choc protein balls. They’re a great snack idea if you’re after a little sugar hit. I’ve been replacing my usual afternoon coffee and biscuit with a coffee and protein ball. :)

Have you got a protein snack recipe?
Have a favourite healthy snack idea? Let me know!

Ashley
xx

My Clothing Staples

Happy uni/school holidays everyone! :) 

This week I kept a day-to-day photo guide of some of my staple outfits. I thought that with day light savings ending last Sunday and the weather being a little unpredictable in Sydney, it was time to organise some staple outfits which go with my usual weekly routine.

Remember ballet flats go well with everything. Make them your staple shoe!
And don’t forget to always pack an umbrella and a cardigan, especially now that daylight savings has ended! 

OOTD: Tuesday

Day one of the weekly staples starts on Tuesday (not because I completely hate Monday’s and thought that it didn’t deserve an outfit of the day) but because I work of a Monday and I have a uniform to wear. On Tuesday however I have uni, so I can dress however I like. Living out west, it’s hard to find a balanced outfit. It’s always a lot warmer out here and rains less than it does in the city so being prepared for four seasons in a day is an absolute must.

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This Tuesday I wore my new (and absolute favourite) Black Milk tights with a black singlet and one of my favourite jackets.
Never underestimate the power of a black singlet! :P

OOTD: Wednesday and Thursday

Of a Wednesday and Thursday I intern at AroundYou, also in the city. This means dressing in a more professional manner – no tights allowed.

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On Wednesday I opted for a grey pencil skirt and peach top. It was quite sunny on Wednesday so the peach colour worked quite well.
A nice pencil skirt works in any professional environment.

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On Thursday the weather was horrible, unless you were able to stay in bed and watch movies all day that is! :P I went for my floral skirt to cheer me up and teamed it with a white singlet top, grey cardigan and stockings.
Despite the weather it was still quite humid, so the cardigan made it easy to stay cool.

OOTD: Friday

For the last day of uni before the two-week break (YAY!! :) ) the weather was quite well behaved. It was sunny in the morning but not too hot, the perfect weather to end the first half of the semester.

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I went with light blue skinny jeans and a three-quarter blouse. The city is always cooler, so breezy blouses work really well in Autumn when I’m travelling into the city.

And there you have it – some of my staple outfits for the unpredictable Sydney Autumn weather.

What are your staple outfits?
Have any favourite clothes you like to wear? Let me know! :)

Ashley
xx

I won something!!

It’s extremely rare that I ever win anything, ever! But this week I won something twice! I know – it’s incredible. I’m still contemplating whether I should purchase a lottery ticket or not… :P

A while back I completed a health survey to help Australian scientists better understand women. For completing the survey I won a pair of Black Milk leggings! The design of the leggings was a complete mystery to me, but I couldn’t be happier with them! 

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These leggings are super comfy! And the funky pattern looks pretty cool with anything :)

After finally winning something I decided to try my luck at another draw. UTS sent out their usual newsletter with the usual competitions that I knew I’d never win. But this week I was on a winning streak (or so I call it). So I entered a competition to win a double pass to Imax to see the short film Jerusalem in 3D- and, you guessed it – I won! :)

This Saturday I’m heading down to Darling Harbour to watch the movie with David. We’ll probably have to spoil ourselves with lunch and popcorn seeing as we’re getting into the movie for free. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with that! 

Have you entered any competitions lately? 
What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever won? Let me know! :) 

Ashley
xx

 

Goal of March: No Chocolate

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After enjoying copious amounts of chocolate, ice cream and left over Christmas goodies at the beginning of the year, I decided to give it all up for a whole month. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew (see what I did there? ;) ) I kept a weekly summary of how I went – if I snuck in a biscuit with my coffee I took a note of it! This was by far the hardest thing I have ever challenged myself to do! I guess that says something about my love of chocolate :P

Week one

So at first it was easy. I snacked on nuts and had fruit and yoghurt for dessert if I felt like I needed it and I only slipped up twice! One day during the week I had a coffee in the afternoon and out of habit I grabbed a biscuit. To be fair it was a sugar free biscuit, but I did say that I’d take note of everything. The second time I slipped up was when I was staying at my Nonna’s house and being the good Nonna that she is, she kept offering me something to eat. I did well to resist all of her temptations until I accidentally bought myself a slice of banana bread in my lunch break at uni. It was Friday and I needed a serious energy boost without overloading on caffeine!
For a first attempt I don’t think I did too badly. But from here it got a lot harder.

Week Two

This week started off well but the weekend turned out to be one of the hardest. My boyfriend and I went to the beach on Saturday and we packed a healthy picnic lunch. We had salad, sandwiches and fruit. On the way home we drove through McDonalds and grabbed a large coffee frappe to share between us. Caffeine hits don’t rest over the weekend! :P That night we went to the footy. We were planning on getting there earlier to scout out healthy dinner options, but with Sydney Trains being Sydney trains, we got there late and had to settle for a hotdog and chips. Not exactly the healthiest option, but it was delicious!
At this stage I’m really hoping to do better next week. I want to achieve at least one week of no unhealthy habits. I have faith! :)

Week Three

This week was pretty similar to the first. I had only one sugar free biscuit with one of my coffees. I even started drinking green tea instead so that I wouldn’t be as tempted to have a biscuit. The only time I slipped up was towards the end of the week. Dad asked me to make him an affagato (note: I’m not intentionally blaming my dad for all of my slip ups – I swear! :P ) and I couldn’t resist enjoying one myself. So it was that one scoop of ice cream that set me back this week. Overall I think I did pretty darn well though! I haven’t eaten any chocolate since last month and I’ve really cut back on the desserts and biscuits.
This week was probably the only week I’d consider a win in terms of not eating too badly.

Week Four

I really wasn’t looking forward to writing down the last week of the month. As you know David and I celebrated our 4-year anniversary by spending the weekend away in Canberra. I really didn’t hold back on the good food this weekend! Think chocolate, chips, pancakes for breakfast and more chocolate. We don’t do small holidays and this weekend was no exception! During the middle of the week though I kept up my clean eating and avoided everything unhealthy.  It was just that I had to let myself enjoy Canberra to the fullest – no regrets.

Trying to avoid chocolate and everything else that falls under the “really tasty but not very good for you” category has taught me that it is possible to eat healthily. The only problem I have is that I’m too used to my bad eating habits. This month’s challenge is something I’m going to try and keep up for the rest of the year, but I won’t be so strict on myself when it comes to going away or celebrating anything.

Next month my goal is to read at least one chapter of a book, a day.

Have you set yourself a challenge or goal for April? What did you achieve this March? Let me know! :)

Ashley
xx

Anniversary Weekend Away

Friday the 28th of March marked 4 years since I first started dating the most important person in the world to me, David. After 4 long years together we decided that we needed to do something special to celebrate. Now that David’s working and I’m busy with uni we didn’t really get much of a chance to celebrate on Friday. But being the organised couple that we are, we booked ourselves a weekend away in Canberra. Admittedly not the first city that springs to mind when you’re after a romantic getaway in Australia, but it was a trip away nonetheless and we loved it! On Saturday David drove us down to Canberra, making sure we passed through Goulbourn to check out the gigantic Merino sheep. Wasting no time, we continued onto Canberra and first on our list of things to do was visit Cockington Green Gardens.   The miniature gardens were super cute and extremely detailed. We also added on the $3 miniature train ride which took us around the garden twice. Because who doesn’t love a miniature train ride!? ;) Image After that we decided it was probably time for lunch. We headed to the first restaurant-lined street we could find and ate at Wagamama. David made the mistake in ordering the chilli chicken stir-fry which should have come with an extra warning of its spiciness! Note to self: always stick with the teriyaki beef. From here we headed to everyone’s favourite – Questacon. We ended up spending a few hours here. :P After that we finally checked into our 5-star hotel. We really went all out on a hotel for our weekend getaway. Burbury Hotel was amazing! It was around the corner from Parliament house and close to everything in Canberra. We got free underground parking, Wi-Fi and Apple TV. They even gave us bath robes and slippers!

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You know you’re at a fancy hotel when they give you bath robes ;)

For dinner we went with something a little different and tried out the Korean BBQ at Tosung Charcoal BBQ. The staff were extremely helpful but they could have warned us not to eat lunch beforehand. The amount of food you get here is incredible!

Beef ribs and teriyaki chicken at our first Korean BBQ.

Beef ribs and teriyaki chicken at our first Korean BBQ.

On Sunday we were a little down about heading home. So to cheer us up we spoiled ourselves and ordered the biggest breakfast we could at Caphs. It was delicious and kept us full until the drive home!  After breakfast we visited the Gold and the Incas exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia which really just made us want to save up for a holiday to Peru. Hey, there’s always next March ;)

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The perfect Sunday breakfast – pancakes, bacon, eggs, hashbrown and a coffee. Yummy! :D

Canberra made for the perfect weekend getaway and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend our 4-year anniversary. What do you and your partner do to celebrate anniversaries? Let me know! :) Ashley xx P.s I love you, Dave! :) <3 xx

Help me out!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I know, I know, Tuesday isn’t that good a day, but hey! It’s closer to Saturday than Monday is, right? :P

I was hoping that you guys would be able to help me out and follow this link here: My photo

Once you’ve clicked the link, why not give my photo a like? :) 

Showpony are running a competition to find the next face of their brand and it would be great if I got through! Not only do I think that their style is amazing, but as a fellow fashionista, I would love the opportunity to represent a brand that stands for happy, confident and bubbly girls.

While you’re there why not enter yourself? If you do enter the comp let me know and I’ll return the favour and like your photo.

Good luck! :)

Ashley
xx

Open Letter to Sydney Trains

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Another day, another Sydney Trains issue

Dear Sydney Trains,

Usually after a weekend football game I would blog about the great fun I had seeing Sydney Roosters thrash Parramatta Eels. Today however, I have decided to address the frustration and anger that you caused not only me, but many other football fans and train commuters yesterday evening.

Yesterday Sydney was hit by a brief storm; it was fast and furious but gone well before kick-off at 7:30pm. At 5pm I arrived at Seven Hills station to catch the 5:17 train to Central, leaving me plenty of time to get something for dinner before watching the game at Allianz Stadium. The storm caused some major problem to your service which you chose not to announce until around 5:45 while I was stuck on a very VERY delayed train somewhere between Westmead and Parramatta.

We were told over muffled speakers that we had to change trains at Parramatta and catch one to Bankstown before catching a train from there into the city in order to bypass Granville where there had been a power failure. After getting off the train at Parramatta we realised that no one actually had any idea where we were meant to go. There was no information being passed on to Sydney Trains staff. There were no buses put on to replace trains and no explanation of what was going on. Eventually we were told to catch the train from Parramatta to Canley Vale where we could catch a train to the city.
We were told on the train to Canley Vale that the announcement was wrong. We were then stranded at Cabramatta station for 40 minutes where train staff had no idea of what had happened to cause the delays.

Finally, after waiting at Cabramatta station until 6:48pm, we boarded a train to the city, which passed through Granville, where there was a supposed power failure, with no problems. By the time we finally arrived at Central it was 7:40pm and buses had stopped taking passengers to Moore Park for the game. Why weren’t they told about the major delays on the train line so that they could run extra services later in order to wait for the passengers who were affected?

Not only did we then have to catch a bus that went only in the general direction of the stadium and then run across major roads and through muddy fields in order to get there, but I ended up making it to the game an astonishing 20 minutes after kick-off.

It took me a total of 2 hours and 55 minutes to get to the game – a trip that should have taken no more than an hour, max.

I don’t know how you can justify me paying more for my train tickets each year when your service keeps getting worse. What’s the point of spending money on new trains when you have no service to run them on, no backup plan for when something happens, no way to communicate to all Sydney Trains staff about issues which are delaying the service and no way of communicating to bus drivers the delays which you are experiencing?

There is no excuse for the poor service. Get your act together!

Sincerely,

Everyone who was affected in yesterdays delays

 

DCF 1.0

Cheap Every day makeup routine

I like to keep my makeup simple. I don’t like the feeling of covering my face much and I’m paranoid about having my skin breakout from a makeup overload. With my super sensitive skin it’s important that I try not to overdo it.

The first thing I do is wash and moisturise my face. Once I’ve done that, I’ll start with foundation or BB cream depending on what I feel like wearing that day. At the moment I’m addicted to Nude BB 5-in-1 Miracle Cream, $20 at Priceline. The light and fresh feeling makes me feel as natural as possible and it’s great for my sensitive skin.

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Next I apply concealer to those dark circles under my eyes. That’s the tricky part, hiding those is not easy! I have my Italian background to thank for that. I use the 2-in-1 concealer from BYS in medium beige which I bought at Kmart for about $5. I use the other side to highlight my inner eyes near my nose.

Once my skin has been covered I move on to my eyes. Because my eyes are so dark already I find it too heavy to wear black eyeliner with my everyday look. I tend to go with lighter metallic colours or pastels during Spring and Summer.  Seeing as Sydney’s weather hasn’t exactly taken the hint that it’s Autumn, I’m still going with that look. At the moment I’m in love with the colour white.

Next is mascara. The mascara I’m using at the moment is Rimmel Londn Scandaleyes Show Off Mascara which I also bought from Kmart for $15. It gives my lashes a nice length and thickness to compensate for my small eyelids. I also tend not to wear eye shadow because my lids are sort of hooded and it just looks too overwhelming for an everyday look.

Finally, lip gloss. I usually opt for a light pink shade of lip gloss. Although I do like to wear darker shades during the cooler months just because the clothes I wear are usually a little darker too. I don’t have a usually lip gloss I wear because I have such a big collection so it varies.

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And there it is – my simple and cheap every day makeup routine. It doesn’t take long and doesn’t look too heavy which makes it easier on my sensitive skin and much more versatile.

What’s your everyday makeup routine like? Have any tips or tricks of your own? Let me know! :)

Ashley
xx

writing

More of me and a chance for you

If you like my writing or just want to check out what else I can write about, head over to Samba Walker. The site focuses on nightlife, partying, romancing and relaxing. At the moment I’m the only contributor for Sydney. This is where the chance for you comes in. If you’re interested in writing about the nightlife of your city I would definitely recommend sending in some articles.

Not only is it good experience to practice your writing, but it helps you get your name out there on the world wide web. Check out the site and see what you think. It’s really easy to submit an article and someone will get back to you within 24 hours with feedback and the link to your newest published article!

If you have any questions about writing for Samba Walker or you’re full of article ideas you’d like to share and places in Sydney you’d recommend, let me know! :)

I’m happy to give you a hand and take on board any feedback you have.
Happy writing!

Ashley
xx

Goal of the month: February

ImageStarting this challenge was always going to be tough. If I have something to save for, I can usually do it. But saving just for the sake of it? Well, that’s a different story. I challenged myself in February to spend less than $50 a week. It really opened my eyes to how much money it takes to get by! Take a look at how I went.

Week One: Saturday 1- Sunday 9

  • $35 on Valentines Day gift for David
  • $10 Dinner at the pub
  • $13.60 on train tickets

Total: $58.60

Ok so for a first attempt I did pretty well. I did go over, but I managed to save money on meals by having them at home (so mum and dad would pay ;) ) and I limited the amount of times I went out in the week. Still, I had no idea how much my weekly expenses actually added up to!

Week Two: Sunday 9 – Sunday 16

  • $20.40 on train tickets
  • $5 on sushi for lunch
  • $1.20 protein ball at Boost Juice after work
  • $50 Valentine’s trip to Forster (We stayed with my grandparents, so they covered a lot of our expenses :P )

Total: $76.60

Ok so at this stage I’m think I will never be able to spend less than $50 in a week. I went over again, but had I not gone away for the weekend I wouldn’t have. So I might count this week as a win! You’ve got to spoil yourself somehow and I think travelling is the perfect way to do just that. :)

Week Three: Sunday 16 – Sunday 23

  • $17 dinner date with David
  • $5 Friday night pub pool
  • $6 on Subway lunch
  • $4 on milkshake
  • $13.60 on train tickets

Total: $45.60

I did it! I went a week without blowing my budget. I was still able to hang out with David and friends and go out for dinner and lunch. I know that it took me two weeks to master the budget, but it’s nice to know that I’m capable of it. Looks like I may actually be able to save up for another European holiday this year! :D

Week Four: Sunday 23- Friday 28

  • $35 phone bill
  • $3.50 coffee
  • $5 on lunch with David
  • $24 on train tickets to work and uni

Total: $67.50

I knew before starting this week that I’d go over. Paying for train tickets and a phone bill in the same week only happens once a month, but it’s enough to send me over $50. I had all my meals at home and packed most of my lunches to compensate. But considering the train and phone expenses, I managed to keep it quite low.

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After all that I’ve managed to prove to myself that when I try really hard, it’s possible to save money on a weekly basis. In the past saving money for me meant not being able to do anything. Shopping was a no-go and I avoided eating out at all costs. But I think being smart about my choices when it comes to shopping and going out will help me save quite a lot of money this year – hopefully. :P

Next month I have challenged myself to avoid eating chocolate, ice cream, chips and all things tasty but unhealthy. You thought I struggled with February, you haven’t seen anything yet!

Have you tried to stick to a budget? Let me know! :)                                                                       

Ashley
xx

Valentine’s Weekend Getaway

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David and I in Forster :)

Happy belated Valentine’s Day lovebirds!

I really hope you all had a great time this weekend, I know I did! Ok so usually I don’t make much of a fuss about the day, but this year it coincided with my annual trip to Forster which I take to visit my grandparents. So this year my boyfriend David and I decided we’d make a weekend of Valentine’s festivities.

The weekend started on Friday morning when David gave me the coolest necklace in the history of cool necklaces! My favourite novel is none other than A Game of Thrones (what else would it be!?) So in honour of my favourite novel, David bought me a handmade miniature book necklace.

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How cool is this necklace!? And the teddy is super cute :)

After exchanging gifts we left for the three-hour drive up north to Forster. Unfortunately for us the sun decided to spend the weekend behind clouds. But with the summer heat in full-force, things to buy and plenty of fish to catch, we didn’t let it stop us.

My favourite part of our weekend getaway (besides being able to spend time with David) was that we spent each night we were away fishing off the wharf down the road from our unit. If you’ve never been fishing of a night, you should make plans to do so! The peaceful scenery, beautiful light reflections and lack of seagulls makes fishing so much more fun. We were also lucky enough to be able to go fishing from my pop’s boat. David and I had a lot of luck fishing this year! (I feel that it is important to note here that I still caught more fish than he did. Sorry David. :P)

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Ok, so not the most impressive Bream ever but hey, it’s better than nothing! Also no one ever warned me how hard taking photos of fish was! :P

Oh and before I forget, don’t feel bad for the fish we caught, we threw them all back. We learnt our lesson after watching Finding Nemo!

So despite the lack of sun and rain on our final day, it was really nice to be able to escape Sydney for the weekend and spend some quality time with David. The coastal atmosphere is so calm and relaxing it really does make it hard to leave.

I can already tell it’s going to be a struggle to get out of bed for work in the morning :P

So, how did you celebrate your Valentine’s Day?

And before I go, David and I are celebrating our 4-year anniversary next month and I want your ideas on how we should celebrate it. We were thinking something along the lines of a weekend getaway. Any ideas? Let me know! :)

Ashley xx

Go Away Monday – No One Likes You!

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It’s Monday again which, on the bright side, means there are 4 days left until the weekend. I don’t know about you but this morning I really struggled to get out of bed, so much so that I actually slept through my alarm. Oops!

But the accidental sleep in, manic rush to get to work on time and hyperventilation whilst sitting in traffic which wouldn’t have happened had I woken up on time was absolutely worth it! Last night I saw Ludovico Einaudi in concert at the Sydney Opera House. It was beyond amazing! Or in my best attempt at embracing my Italian side, bellissimo!

The show titled ‘In a Time Lapse’ was a great combination of intense melodic crescendos and classical composition with a modern flair. Piano was accompanied by string instruments including cello, violin and guitar along with xylophone, bass keyboard and the best tambourine playing I have ever seen! I cannot describe to you how much it meant to see Mr Einaudi in concert. I’ve learnt a few of his songs on the piano myself, but nothing can compare to hearing the master behind the masterpiece play it himself!  :)

Before the show my boyfriend went out for dinner. Keeping the whole Italian theme going for the night, we ate dinner at Eastbank Cafe Bar Pizzeria. With views over the harbour it’s worth the little bit extra you may have to pay for these meals. And if the view isn’t worth your money than the food here certainly is! I’m half Italian myself, so I know a good Italian meal when I taste one. And although the food there may not have been as good as my Nonna’s cooking (I may or may not be forced to say that) it was pretty close!

After dinner we headed over to the Guylian Cafe, also overlooking the harbour and continuing on our way to the Opera House. Last night we decided that we deserved to treat ourselves, so we each ordered an affagato and shared a chocolate éclair. The chocolate at the Guylian cafe is heavenly! With so many tarts, cookies, slices and drinks, it’s hard to resist!

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Guylian Cafe’s affagato. Delicious! :)

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Chocolate eclair. So much yummy! :P

After the show ended at 11am we were delayed by track work on our train line which meant that we didn’t actually get home until around 1.30am. But regardless of how tired we were when we got home or how late we were to work this morning, we had a fantastic time. And if you ever have the chance to experience Mr Einaudi live or any live show at the Sydney Opera House, you will not be disappointed!

Have you been to a show at the Sydney Opera House? Let me know! :)

Ashley
xx

Goal of the month: January

Happiness

For each month of this year I’m challenging myself to set a new goal and stick with it. For January I decided to do something positive. My goal was to write down something that I was grateful for or something that made me happy at the end of each day. For someone who has always found it hard to keep a journal because she can never really find anything interesting to say, this was always going to be a tough one.

I wanted to set this goal first. Starting the year off in a positive way is crucial because I feel like it kind of sets the tone for what the rest of the year is going to be like. After I started 2013 with a trip to Europe I knew that it would be hard to top. I mean, what better way to make yourself happy than travelling around the world?! I’ve always been taught by my family to be grateful for what I have and I truly believe that reminding myself each day of the things that I’m most grateful for has definitely improved my outlook on 2014 (not that it was all that bad to begin with).

Here is my day-to-day gratitude/list-of-things- that-made-me-happy list for January.

Jan 1st – Today I’m grateful for the time I have to spend by the beach during summer.
Jan 2nd – I got the chance to see The Hobbit. Such a great film!
Jan 3rd – Time spent with friends playing karaoke. Priceless.
Jan 4th – Relaxing at the beach with my boyfriend.
Jan 5th – I didn’t know what laughing hard meant until I saw my dog try and swim! He’s getting there :P
Jan 6th – Grateful for some peace and quiet at home! My holidays are always so busy.
Jan 7th – Planning future holidays is almost as much fun as actually going away on them. Almost.
Jan 8th –Today  I’m grateful for having time off!
Jan 9th – Today I had an interview for a new internship. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with AroundYou!
Jan 10th – I’m so grateful for the time I get to spend with my Nonna.
Jan 11th – Today I’m just grateful for the chance to sleep in and laze around. Have I mentioned how much I love being on holidays!? :)
Jan 12th – Today David and I got a job doing the local paper run. The thought of extra money makes me really happy.
Jan 13th – Reading A Game of Thrones except, you know, when your favourite character dies.
Jan 14th – A year ago today I left for my first overseas holiday ever. I’m so grateful to have had the chance to travel around Europe with my amazing boyfriend.
Jan 15th – Summer = happiness. I can’t get enough of being in the pool all day long. Keep the heat coming!
Jan 16th – Another beautiful day by the pool with my boyfriend and my dog. I love that he is able to join in on the fun. Dogs are part of the family too! :)
Jan 17th – Friday night movies on the couch with the boyfriend. No better way to spend a night in.
Jan 18th – So lucky to have a dog who loves me as much as I love him.
Jan 19th – Doing the paper run may not be the most ideal job, but hey – money’s coming in!
Jan 20th – I had a really nice smoothie today. I did make it myself while I was at work though, so my opinion may be bias ;)
Jan 21st – My first day at my new internship and I love it already! Researching memes kept me entertained for the majority of the day. :P
Jan 22nd – Interning so close to Darling Harbour makes the views at lunch pretty special.
Jan 23rd – Today I just needed the day off. Interning is tough! :P
Jan 24th – I love having time to read books I’ve been meaning to catch up on!
Jan 25th – Time spent shopping is always time spent well ;)
Jan 26th – The tour of Government House in Parramatta made me really appreciate our vast history.
Jan 27th – Thankful for the long weekend! If sleeping in were a chore I’d never fail to get it done :P
Jan 28th – Happy 46 month anniversary, David! I’m so lucky you choose to put up with me every day haha
Jan 29th – Almost the end of the month and I’m kind of glad that this year is on a roll already, not that I want it to end already, I just want to get really stuck into it.
Jan 30th – Happy Birthday, Dad! Thanks for the delicious feed ;)
Jan 31st – Finally, at the end of a mammoth month, I’m grateful for this task. It made me realise that I don’t have to be doing amazing things every day to be happy or have a good time. I simply need to be grateful for more than I have been in my day-to-day life. :)

My goal for next month is to spend less than $50 a week. A tough task for a girl with a shopping addiction!

Have you got a goal to reach next month? How do you keep your mood positive? Let me know! :)

Ashley
xx

Australia Day Long Weekend

Happy Australia Day everyone!  :)

Today is the day we come together as a whole nation to celebrate the diversity that is Australia. Australia always reminds me of how lucky and grateful I am to live here. If it weren’t for this country I wouldn’t be here at all! My Nonno and Nonna came to Australia from Italy in the 50’s in search of a new home, one they could start a family in. Upon arriving in Sydney they decided that they had found the perfect place and haven’t left since.

The same happened on the other side of my family with my great-grandparents leaving England to start their families in Australia. My grandparents always taught me to remember how lucky I was to have been born in such a great country.

So today, I decided to head down to Parramatta Park with my boyfriend to grab a sausage sizzle for lunch and take a tour of Old Government House. I honestly had no idea how old Parramatta’s history was! If you’re heading to Parramatta, I’d recommend a stop off here. The tour guides were fantastic and you’re bound to learn something new in every room of the house!  You could always go at night for a creepy ghost tour if that’s more your thing. I’ve yet to talk myself into going :P

I’ve also been spending my Australia Day long weekend taking advantage of the extra time I have to do some shopping. I bought this dress from Paper Scissors in Merrylands for $10!

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Paper Scissors Day Dress in pink coral. It looks more orange in the photo though :P

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I really love the side cut outs too!

I also had time to paint my nails which is extremely rare these days. For this look I used BYS nail polish I got from Kmart. They’re so cheap and they definitely do the job!

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Don’t mind the blurry photo. My photography skills at their best ;)

But the long weekend isn’t over yet! So enjoy what’s left of it and stay safe. 

How did you spend your Australia Day? Let me know! :)

Ashley
xx

Day Trip: Bowral and Mittagong

This week I started my internship at AroundYou and I absolutely love it! However with long trips in and out of the city all day I decided I needed a break from it all. So today my boyfriend David and I decided to take a trip down south to Bowral. A trip that I would certainly recommend!

After about an hour-long drive we stopped in Mittagong for a coffee at The Shaggy Cow.  This buzzing cafe is sure to entice you with its homemade freshly baked breads and treats. Definitely worth a five out of five! After our coffee stop we took a look around in all of the really unique antique and second-hand stores before continuing on another 15 minutes to Bowral.

In Bowral we spent an hour window shopping throughout the town centre before stopping off for lunch at Cafe Parisienne, an extremely cute Paris inspired cafe.

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I had the chicken and avocado salad with balsamic dressing. :)

After lunch we headed back home. On our way out of Bowral we make a stop off to the Mt Gibraltar Bowral lookout. The lookout sits a 5 minute drive up the mountain. The views were a little hazy when we were there because of the cloud cover, but it was definitely worth the drive up!

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View of Bowral from the lookout

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Bowral day trip selfies, David’s idea! ;)

We had a great day exploring Bowral and Mittagong. If you’re planning on taking a trip down there yourself just keep in mind that most cafes and restaurants are a tad pricey but the food is guaranteed to be worth it!

For any other information on what to do and see in Bowral and Mittagong, I recommend using AroundYou. Their site is really useful if you’re planning a day trip anywhere in Australia! And I’m not just saying that because I intern there ;)

Have you taken a recent day trip? Let me know! :)

Ashley
xx