Friday, September 27, 2013

On Being Thankful

Hello :) Since turning 21 not too long ago, it has got me thinking a little more deeply about relationships, the future, and life. I suppose because people consider turning 21 a bit of a milestone, it has me reflecting and assessing. I've come away from such thoughts, feeling utterly grateful, lucky, and appreciative for everything. Seriously. I feel that in the past year I've grown, become more confident in myself, and do feel a little older and more mature.

...some things I am thankful for:

Adrian. Almost 3 years & I couldn't be happier :)

Female friendships. I've been fortunate to catch up with lots of lovely ladies over the past few weeks, and have loved having honest and real conversations about life. There is something so nurturing and uplifting about discussing experiences, and realising we all go through similar emotions and thoughts and that we aren't alone in our worries. 

Mondays and Fridays free. This semester at uni has worked out really well, and I have those two days free. Since failing chemistry in the first semester of uni, I have been doing more of a part time load, but it has actually been a blessing. Commuting to Wollongong uni four days a week I think would be a bit too intense, especially as I work weekends. 

Yoga. On my days off I wake up early, get out of the house, and go to a yoga class. I love it. It's been a big lesson in learning to slow down, enjoying moments of stillness, and trying to translate that sense of calmness in everyday life.

Work. I graduate half way through next year, which I cannot wait for. I'm not entirely sure if I will continue studying or go straight into employment, but I am so thankful that my work at the moment aligns with what I plan to do. This summer I'm going to be interning at a Chinese medicine clinic and working more closely with Little China Teas, and will hopefully work out if Chinese herbal medicine &/or acupuncture is the route I want to venture into. At present I also have an interest in freelance health writing and blogging, and am looking forward to having more of these opportunities this summer.

The weather. Isn't it wonderful? The warmer weather has me thinking of summer holidays and icecream. I have next week off, and cannot wait to spend a few days in Kiama relaxing and sleeping in.

This blog. I am so glad I have this little space to share my thoughts on food, tidbits of my life and recipes etc. And I am curious to know, what you'd like to see more of on this blog? I'm going to continue the rest of my travel posts, but then what? Do you like reading recipes, or more articles like these, or posts on DIY skincare, or just pictures of my everyday life? I'd love to know.

I'll also add that even though today I've been feeling happy and lucky and loved, my life is not always this way. I realise my blog and pictures on instagram do sometimes sugar coat my life, but I too have crap days. But I think by trying to slow down and really taking time to appreciate life and the present moments, I am becoming more thankful, which I think is a beautiful thing.

A lovely brunch with a friend this morning at Bread & Circus

Sitting in a park this afternoon, wearing my new Nars lipstick and thinking man it's a gorgeous day! I should blog about it!

I'd love to know, what are you thankful for at the moment?

Hannah x

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Hello :) After Lyon, I was so looking forward to Nice. It was definitely time for a swim in the French Riviera. On seeing the beach for the first time, only a 15 minute walk from our hotel, we started laughing. I mean, it was just so flippin' beautiful! We couldn't really get over it. So here's a selection of photos and words from Nice ...

Posing just before our first dip in the ocean. The water temperature was perfect, I could have stayed in there for hours!

Although pebbles instead of sand = ouch!

 I was a big fan omelettes for breakfast, as I didn't feel like pastries every morning (every second morning, yes!)

One of many interesting coffees in France. After a while we decided to stick to espressos ...

Postcard worthy views 

We climbed up to see this amazing view !!

It was a super hot day, so were glad to find a waterfall at the top

In Nice our days revolved around swimming, walking, shopping and eating. I particularly enjoyed the latter and had a beautiful salmon for lunch on our second day. The view from our table ...

The salmon was absolutely beautiful and was dressed lightly with olive oil, dill and tomatoes.

Later on we had pesto gnocchi 

Walking around the old city ...

I must say though, as much as I loved the beach, I found it was a little too crowded and touristy after a while ...& there's only so much shopping one can do! 

Hannah x

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Day in Lyon

Hello :) If there was one place in our Europe travels, where I wished I stayed longer, it would have been Lyon. We were held up at the train station in Paris for a lot longer than expected, and really only had one full day in Lyon. But it really was a perfect day. It was Bastille Day for one, and a Sunday, so everyone seemed to be out and about enjoying the gorgeous weather ...

I was very excited to find a farmers market, especially after a failed attempt at finding one in Paris. But this one certainly made up for it and was exactly how I pictured a little French market. 

Cherries in the sunlight ...


Roasted chooks 

Olives! And so cheap ...I got two decent scoops for under 2 euro.

After wandering around the markets for a little while and sussing out the best stalls, we bought lunch supplies and sat here by the river. Our lunch included chicken, olives, peaches, and a baguette. 

Time for a wander around the town ... we found art and jewellery markets along the river, stopped for a milkshake, and admired all the old, colourful houses.

We came across a huge outdoor swimming pool and decided it would be the perfect way to relax before dinner. So hurried back to our hotel for swimmers, and got in after a while spent lining up. One of the most refreshing, relaxing swims I've had.

Mojitos after a swim. Yes please!

And then it was dinner time. Lyon is known as the food capital and I could definitely see why. We chose a little restaurant with a 3 course special, after meeting some Australians who recommended it. Seriously good food !!

Cured trout to start ...

Duck breast with an orange sauce, potato gratin and pumpkin mash for the main. Oh yeah!

I opted for cheese for dessert & it was divine.

After dinner we walked around the town, and up to a hill to see this very picturesque view of the rooftops.

Being Bastille Day, there were fireworks at 10pm, and so everyone sat along the canal listening to music and waiting ...we had a nice view!

Waiting for the fireworks. It was so much fun !!

And that's how we spent a day in Lyon :) 

In other news, I turned twenty one yesterday! The past two weeks have been quite hectic at uni (essays! reports! presentations! all at once!) so had fun eating dumplings and duck pancakes with Adrian, and enjoying a glass of wine (or eight)*

Hannah x

*I didn't actually drink that much.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Perfect Paris

Hello :) Ahhh Paris. We spent 4 nights here, which was definitely necessary, as there was so much to see! It was Renee's third time here (lucky thing!), and so it was great she knew some basic French to get us around (I was terrible ...) I absolutely loved wandering around the streets ... everyone was really quite stylish, so we made an effort to dress up a little. It was fun. Oh and it was Renee's 21st here as well, which was special. It was also here where we learnt how to be patient ... as the lines for everything were so long!  Onto the photos ... & there's a lot! 

Just near where we stayed in Alesia was an amazing bakery dominique saibron where we went at least once a day ... for breakfast and sometimes in the afternoon. I had my morning croissant, as well as a quiche. There were so many divine quiches.. I think I tried 5 of them. And the croissants were perfection.

Chillin' near the Eiffel Tower. 

An amazing Indian feast! Renee had a fish tagine and I had this amazing lamb ... we were super full afterwards !!

Versailles was a must see. I was overwhelmed by the extravagance ... it was just astonishing. 

The gardens were so beautiful and a lot larger than I expected! It would have been nice to take a picnic and spend the whole day there, as other people did. 

Hello hedge

Of course we went to this cafe :) 

Renee's 21st breakfast complete with hot chocolate, a brioche for me, and a pain au chocolat for her.

On the morning of Renee's birthday we spent the morning at a local hair salon, being fancy and getting our hair done. It was quite interesting as we couldn't speak much French and they weren't able to understand our English ... but it all worked out and Renee coloured her hair a beautiful dark brown and I had mine cut into a nicely shaped bob ...

Perfect weather to do nothing 

21 forever!

Smoked salmon and cream cheese crepe. 

Wandering around the little streets ...

Well I was in France after all ;) 

Some more things I loved: going all the way up the Eiffel Tower (although I was quite nervous!), people-watching around Saint Germain, looking at fancy clothes in Galleries Lafayette, espressos (after too many "interesting" lattes we stuck to these), the super regular metro and just walking around the streets in the warm weather and really having the best time ...

Hannah x