The Grounds of Alexandria

After spending the previous week stuck at home on baby sitting duties, the weekend was a welcome escape from all the hectic nappy changes and my seemingly never ending roll of chores. My Saturday began with a fairly late start and an extra $20 in my pocket (hooray for finally getting rid of the old printer!) although the best bit of my day was going to The Grounds of Alexandria for a girl’s day + brunch with my sister-in-law, niece and bonus baby nephew.

My sister-in-law and nephew walking to see Kevin Bacon. (Seriously, they have a pig named Kevin Bacon who,  I believe, was pork-napped sometime last year)

My sister-in-law and nephew walking to see Kevin Bacon. (Seriously, they have a pig named Kevin Bacon who, I believe, was pork-napped sometime last year)

I didn’t get to take too many photos of the place because there was a whole load of people at their Christmas market, but everything from the decor to the food was definitely on point. I mean, just look at this atm that they hid inside of an old timey phone booth.

wpid-2014-12-13-12.00.54-2.jpg.jpegOne of the first things we got to try was their signature rose lemonade, and while I usually can’t keep anything rose flavoured down, I can make an exception for this drink. It didn’t have the usual plant-y taste that puts me off rose flavoured anything and was super refreshing, pretty much the quintessential summer drink. However my absolute fav out of the three flavours was the teamonade (sadly, I was too busy sipping on the delicious sweetness and completely forgot to take a photo) and I would be lying if I said that I haven’t spent the past 4 days attempting to recreate its taste. For just $5 a cup their lemonade is an absolute winner in my book.


By the time we got to The Grounds, we were all pretty hungry and didn’t feel like waiting for a table inside so we grabbed one of these kid’s picnic benches and ordered from the takeaway menu instead. However, being the amazing blogger that I am (that was sarcasm, if you couldn’t already tell) I completely forgot what we had ordered. But, I am very pleased to report that the grilled lamb wrap that I had was nice and juicy and also surprisingly filling.

I also heard that the coffee here is an absolute must-try. Sadly though, my body can’t handle caffeine from coffee all that well so I can’t tell you much about it taste-wise. But judging by the number of coffee cups that I spotted in people’s hands, I’m guessing that their grounds (ey did’ya see what I just did there?) are definitely something to rave about.
wpid-2014-12-13-11.19.36-2.jpg.jpegOverall our trip to The Grounds was pretty amazing and I can definitely see why this is a much-loved weekend brunch spot. In fact, I’m still not over their teamonade and am already making plans for my next visit post-Christmas. In the mean time, I’d love to know what I missed during my last visit, leave a comment below and let me know what I should try next time. ❤

PS I want to acknowledge the events that transpired at Martin Place yesterday. My thoughts are with the surviving and deceased hostages, as well as their loved ones, of yesterdays siege. I can only imagine how terrifying that ordeal must have been for them and I pray for their strength and healing.



One of those days

It’s one of those days again. I don’t really feel like dealing with people, but I have to suck it up because I’m on baby sitting duties again today. In desperate need of some me time, but since that’s not possible I made a playlist instead. Enjoy.

Thoughts on passing my 11 month mark.

I have never, by any means, been defined as a “risk-taker.” In fact every move I have made in life has been carefully calculated and assessed in losses vs. possible gains. Well, up until I decided to make the very rash decision of moving to another country.

It has been 11 months, 12 days, 2 hours and 1 minute since I first arrived in Sydney and my perception of life and who I am as a person has already changed tremendously. But I would like to be honest with you internet, I am not too sure I like who I am becoming. Now, I know that the handful of people who somehow find themselves reading this blog will say: ‘You’re becoming an adult, that’s all this is. It will pass.’ Well… that may be true, but I am still as lost as I was (if not more) than when I first came out here. In fact, I’m starting to question why I found it necessary to come here at all. Don’t get me wrong, I will be forever grateful that my parents supported my decision to come here and even more so that they are still paying for my tuition (God knows, it isn’t cheap!). But I have always considered myself to be a writer (albeit one who is constantly uninspired and often unable to put pen to paper, but a writer all the same) and being a nurse, or any sort of medical professional for that matter, is one of the last things I ever thought I would be.

No one forced me to come here. I made this decision all by myself, at a time when I probably shouldn’t have been making any. I was angry, burnt-out and beyond exhausted. At the time, all I wanted was to get away from my life and this seemed like a good alternative. But after a handful of anxiety attacks, several tearful Tessie phone calls home and getting sick about 8 times this year (I only usually get sick once a year, 3 times max) I am starting to seriously reconsider my life choices.

People have been telling me that after the first year, things do get better. That you stop feeling homesick and you start to feel like a part of the community. But as the year went on I felt more unwelcome than I did in the beginning, mostly because of family calling me a bunch of names behind my back. Now, I’m seriously considering moving to Adelaide and finishing my Literature degree (or some variation of it) if I get offered enough credit points to not have to do the full three years all over again. At this point, I just really want to prove to myself that I can survive on my own even for a couple of years, damn what my relatives have to say about me.

Major Life Update: 1.1.1

Today I’ve been in Sydney for one month, one week and one day and within that amount of time I have been training to be an AIN and waiting for uni to begin. 

Leaving home was the most difficult decision I have had to make. I truly didn’t realise how hard it would be to leave behind my family, friends and my beloved puppy behind while I was applying for university; and I can say that I was without a doubt completely overwhelmed with fear and sadness when I was on my way out the door. The first two nights I spent here, I cried myself to sleep as I remembered that I won’t be sleeping in the same bed anymore or that I won’t have to worry about my mom popping into my room at unexpected times at night. I had to adjust to living in a small flat with three other people and sharing a tiny room with my 13 year old (and always energetic) niece and I’m betting that I still have tons of new experiences to deal with when uni officially begins next week. 

One of the more interesting things that I’ve had to face this past month was getting lost, in the city, twice. The first time was with a friend from the Philippines that had moved here months before I did, we spent an hour wandering about Surry Hills before we found our way back into Sydney CBD; the second time I got lost was during an impromptu trip I made to the city after my First Aid Training, it wasn’t too bad though I made my way to China town and figured out how to find my way from there. 

If anything, moving out of my comfort zone has taught me to celebrate little victories like being able to wake up at 4:30 am by myself and getting to work experience in one piece during the wee hours of the morning or finding my way to my uni’s satellite campus (up to the north of Sydney, which is really far from where I live) and successfully enrolling into my subjects by myself (with strange ass course codes). 

I’m happy I left home to move here, I certainly haven’t straightened out my life plans yet but I think I’m game for whatever life has to throw at me. LIFE COME AT ME BRO, be gentle but come at me :)) 

What’s In My Bag (Term Break Edition)

What's In My Bag (Term Break Edition)

This is what my bag looks like when I don’t have class. Normally on a weekday I can be spotted lugging around an oversized hobo bag filled with a billion things but since I’m on term break I don’t really need all my crap so I only carry the essentials when I need to leave the house (which is rare.) Not included are my bandaids (for when my shoes start hurting me) and my earphones.

Top (L-R) Purse (It’s vintage. My mom just gave it to me a few weeks ago, along with her other purses from when she was in college.), University ID, Shades (Accessorize), Wallet (United Colors of Benetton)

Bottom (L-R) Watch (A mother’s day gift from my sister-in-law to my mom. My mom gave it to me after deeming it unfit for her age.), Mints, Cellphone (HTC), Fan (It’s a bit beat up from years of use, it was a gift from my mom’s friend. He says it came from Japan but the tag says its from London.)

Edit: I just realized how much stuff I have that was originally my mom’s.


I’ve been bouncing around that website lately, listening to whatever comes up when I click the Explore People option.

I heard about this site before and I didn’t really feel like signing up for it. I finally did yesterday, and it’s been great. I never really had time to really listen to music and read books when I had school so I guess I’m catching up on all the great stuff I’ve missed out on.

Last summer I wanted to do so much but got so little done. I felt bad, I never really finished anything on my 50 Things To Do Before College list. So I guess this time I’m not really going that big again.

This is actually the first poster/image that turned out semi-decent. I’ve used Gimp and Photoshop before but most of my outcome was just bleh. I’m actually okay with this one.

48 To Go

I finally finished writing my short story for my midterms. I’m posting it here because.. reasons.

48 To Go

Authors Note: This short story was based on a song written by The Fray, of the same title. This story was my personal interpretation of what could have happened in what I assumed was a couple’s road trip described in the song.

All I could hear were the sound of tires rolling on asphalt and sirens blaring, I could see men and women dashing all around our car. I was standing apart from the chaos, watching it from a distance. I had woken up with a raging headache and no feeling in my fingers, but I managed to get up and sit myself in a patch of dirt right by the side of the freeway. No one seemed to notice me, I had simply assumed it was because they were all busy saving lives and that someone would attend to my bruised and bloodied self when all the criticals were out of the way.

I sat in my spot trying to think back to how I ended up here.

I had begun to feel incredibly bored with my life. I lacked inspiration and I was stuck in a very deep rut. My life was always planned to the letter, finish high school, get into a good college, graduate with honors, get a good job and pay off all of my student debts. But now all I wanted to was to leave my dead end job. Never in the entirety of my student life did I ever do drugs and drink extensively, even now, I never found the whole young, wild and free mantra to be appropriate and useful. I had done all that I needed to do and I seemed to have done them well, but I felt like I needed something more in my life.

That’s how Duncan and I had began our trip to Santa Monica. We both felt the need to just go out and do something crazy for once in our lives. Exactly 2 days ago we had plotted our path and computed the time it would take to get us from Denver to California inclusive of all the stops we were going to make. We came at a reasonable assumption that the trip would take 14 hours and 48 minutes. After that we just picked up a few essentials, told our friends and family where we were going and left. Our first 12 hours  had gone by just fine, but by the time we hit Albuquerque we had missed an exit (or two) and had decided to stop caring about the time it would take to get there. “We’ll get there when we get there.” Duncan said, and I was perfectly fine with it.

We’d stop at quaint shops selling the most bizarre things. We found lizard skins and little wooden figurines that no one could tell us about. Then we happened upon this bar that had a complete Old Western motif. In a corner stood a little piano and by the end of the bar was a brass spitoon that I was afraid to look into. But what was most interesting was the antique till made of brass and wood set on the counter top, initially we had both thought that it was simply for decoration but as we paid for our drinks we learned that it worked fine and was still in operation.

Twenty hours into our trip, we had already found ourselves in San Bernardino. By 6am the sky  was starting to look like that halfway point between night and day. You could still clearly see the moon as the sky started to lighten up and eventually show hues of red and purple, a clear signal of the morning to come. The day had begun with such a feeling of serenity that no one would have figured anything panic inducing would unfold a few hours into the young day. I could feel the cool air hitting my face as we drove. My window was down and I was resting my folded arms on the car’s window sill letting my hair blow into any direction the wind would take it. I was pretty sure we were lost. We had been driving around all night and by today’s standards we should have been in Santa Monica. I leaned back into my seat and rested both my hands in my lap.“We’ll be there in 48 minutes.” Duncan said, then he took my left hand, brought it to his lips and planted a small kiss on my knuckles before resting our entwined fingers on my lap once more. I smiled and told him “I don’t really mind what time we get there.” I saw him smile as I turned my head back towards the view to my right. There was a comfortable silence between the two of us, nothing could be heard but the wind coming through the windows and the whir of the engine.

The last thing I remembered was the loud blaring of a horn from behind us and the sight of  headlights that seemed to be rushing closer in our rear view mirror. It was followed by the deafening sound of crunching metal and breaking glass, I felt my body hit the dashboard with an impact that had knocked the wind out of me and had broken most of my ribs. I tried to move but I couldn’t, it felt as though I was right in the middle of two huge boulders closing in on me and I was slowly suffocating. I could feel something wet trickle down the side of my face, the steady stream began to move down my right arm and drip onto my right, or maybe left leg. My legs looked so broken being stuffed underneath the dashboard like that so I was unsure of which one I was looking at, but it seemed the steady stream was actually my blood gushing out of a wound I could not see nor feel. After what felt like a good 30 minutes later I noticed that a puddle of crimson had begun to form, and was actually spilling onto the car’s carpet. My upper body was pressed against the contours of the dashboard and my legs were so uncomfortably placed that I was sure they were broken. Before I could even begin to worry about Duncan I felt myself slipping into the darkness, I made one last attempt to move or at the very least whisper his name but my mind would no longer permit me. I had finally succumbed to the darkness that was calling my name with such a thunderous and compelling voice.

I then snapped out of my flashback and stood up from my spot hoping to find Duncan amidst the number of people who were frantically trying to administer aid to those who needed it. I stalked through scene trying to find him, but there were too many people and I was in no mood to feel as though I was in a child’s find-it book. I approached a highway patrolman, who was trying to keep guide other incoming vehicles in hopes of avoiding a traffic buildup, I tapped him on the shoulder but it was as though he didn’t feel it. I thought that maybe he was just busy and couldn’t spare me a few seconds. I begrudgingly continued my search the way I had started until I once again found myself in front of our car, or at least what was left of it.



What I saw made my blood run cold, it was only then I saw the paleness of my skin and felt the cold of my hands. My eyes burned, and my fists clenched. All I could do was close my eyes and let my anguish over take me. Somewhere in the distance I could hear Duncan saying over and over again, “48 to go, 48 to go…” I was about to drift off  once more when I realized that Duncan’s voice was not alone I could hear another more feminine one, saying with him “48 to go, 48 to go…”