EXPLORE // WHY YOU SHOULD DO A DAY TRIP TO BOWRAL

After some full-on weeks of study, R (my adventure partner x s/o) and I spent a weekend away visiting the Hunter Valley region. This is a solid drive from Canberra (about 4 hours) so we decided to break up the trip with a pit-stop in Bowral, a lovely town in the Southern Highlands, NSW.

Even if you have only just come across my blog and read through a post or two, you probably realise how much I love brunch. With this deep love comes the need to scope out the latest and greatest cafes, which is why I have had my eye on The Press Shop for quite some time now.

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This café is a must for those who love aesthetically pleasing surroundings. There are brick walls, painted white. There are large windows, letting in all the natural light your heart desires. There is a hint of greenery on every table. And the coffee… it was A+.

Sidenote: I wish I had taken a photo of the entrance because it is absolutely gorgeous, but I guess you’ll have to go there and see for yourself!

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Not only does this cafe serve great coffee and delicious food (I had the vegetable breakky wrap which I can highly recommend), but you can also pick up some trendy stationery (including Kate Spade – drool) or a handmade card or two from Bespoke Letterpress.

In fact, I realised that I had previously bought a few Bespoke Letterpress birthday cards for various people from Harry Hartog Bookseller. What a coinkydink.

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As mentioned on The Press Shop’s website, ‘our space is an accumulation of our design studio, print studio, letterpress stationery store and café all contained within the one beautiful space’… and really, it does not disappoint.
After you have had your fill of coffee and nibbles, walk down the street past the beautiful boutiques towards Green Lane. As you walk through the gates at Green Lane, you are greeted by greenery billowing out of The Orangery, part of The Potting Shed. There are many glorious plants for sale (cacti, succulents – you name it), alongside beautiful vintage pots and all the accessories a gardener could imagine.

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When you continue down the lane, you find yourself in a courtyard – a courtyard in which dreams are made of. There is greenery everywhere, and so many places to explore. We ducked into Dirty Janes – an emporium full of all things vintage/antique. We could have spent hours here, wandering through the 75+ dealers in the incredibly large warehouse – but alas, we had places to be.

I left R at one of the stores to hunt through vinyls, and wandered through the rest of the warehouse, eyeing off all the vintage clothes and antiques on offer (including old designer jewellery, books and old cameras). Perhaps once I know more about film cameras, I’ll return and buy one of these beauties!

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After I had covered most of the stores, and R most of the vinyls (see below for the happy vinyl collector), we decided to continue on our way… but that is a blog post for another time.

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Affectionately Yours,

Anika x

 

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THOUGHTS // Week 12: The Importance of Self-Care

I am still in shock at how quickly this semester has gone, especially this last month. Especially now that ANU only has 12 weeks (as opposed to the ol’ 13) – time flies… I guess I’m having fun.

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My view from Hancock Library, where I’ve been hiding the majority of the week

 

As you probably guessed from the title, it is currently week 12. The week that students dread. It’s full of cramming, assessment and stress (which is why this week, I want to stress the importance of self-care).

Now everyone has certain things they like to do to de-stress, but maybe you want to try something new, or maybe you’re just interested in how others to soothe their souls. Nonetheless, I’m going to share a few tips with you so buckle up!

 

Tip one: exercise

This is absolutely the first thing that goes to the end of my priority list when I have a bunch of things to do. However we all know that exercise releases endorphins, which can be super helpful when you are stressed and in need of a break.

I went for a lake walk the other day, just before the sun began to set. I started off at the National Library and walked the ‘bridge to bridge’ (Commonwealth Bridge to Kings Avenue Bridge).

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I caught the sunset at the end of my walk, and watched people cycle past as the sunlight filtered through the leaves. There was actually a boy on a unicycle (you can see him in the sunlight) and his mother was taking photos of him (to the left). Isn’t autumn marvellous?!

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Tip two: hang out with animals 

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One thing I love about week 12 (previously week 13) are the events that ANU hosts. In particular, I always look forward to the Petting Zoo. Anyone who knows me will know that I absolutely love animals, and what better place to go.

The animal I am holding (to the right) is a silkie chicken. The lady who owns the farm (and petting zoo) said that you have to pick them up with confidence and hold their wings so they don’t fly away. There was also a 3 month old cow – what a cutie! Unfortunately, petting zoos aren’t easily accessible so if you’re looking for a quick fix, you can always find a dog who is ready to receive love, pets and tummy rubs.

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Tip three: Prepare for when you have no assessment 

FullSizeRender-3.jpgAs with most uni students, I can be a procrastination queen! On the weekend, besides the hours I spent at the library, I made it to Paperchain – a lovely bookstore in Manuka. When I saw that Haruki Murakami had published another book, I absolutely had to have it. He is my favourite author by far, and I will one day own every single book he has published. So, I’ve added it to my to-do list for the holidays.

 

Tip four: Take a break, if you need one

Finally, my last tip is to take a break. After my weekend of studying, I literally could not face my computer. My fingers hurt from typing. So, I took the liberty of taking the night off.

I went to my friend’s house and we had homemade burgers and made brownies! We tried the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie mix and added Cadbury Caramello pieces to it. Whilst I’d rate the normal mix above the gluten free version, it was still super delicious and we had it with ice cream. The perfect night off.

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All in all, no matter how you relax, make sure you take the time to self-care during week 12 (or during your work week, or any time when you are feeling stressed or overworked).

For now, it’s back to my green tea and revision.

 

Affectionately Yours,

Anika x

 

PERSONAL // How to spend money you don’t need to spend (May Edition)

In just 2 months and 2 days, I will be jetting off to Europe (for the first time ever). I will be studying at Bocconi University in Milan from August, however from July until then, I’ve set aside some time to explore Europe. Anyway, the point of telling you this, is to explain why I have been saving.

But isn’t this post about what you’ve recently bought?

Yes. It is. But sometimes, a girl (or boy, we’re all about equality here) can’t resist.

So, what did you buy?

1. A puffer jacket (for Europe and the oh so cold Canberra)

First of all, we have this très chic down jacket.

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After enlisting the help of my friend who is quite knowledgeable about the world of puffer jackets, we decided on this MacPac jacket.

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It has water-resistant duck down (because down jackets are often ineffective when wet), and surprisingly it’s a really nice fit. There are also many other features which I won’t go through in detail, but it’s safe to say I’m impressed.

2. A forest green mohair knit from Country Road (that I didn’t really need, but I did really want)

This knit. Now my coworkers and friends can vouch for me – I have been wanting this jumper for months now. It all started when I received an email from Country Road, and saw someone in the jumper (see below). It just looked so comfortable and stylish.

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Pictured: the ad that worked wonders (above), and me looking super happy in my super fabulous new knit (below)

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I also luckily snatched it whilst it was on sale – 25% off. What a bargain. (It’s Italian yarn, people. How could I not)

3. Books

At the start of the year, I decided that I wanted to be more creative. Studying at university is challenging, academically speaking. However, I wanted to challenge myself more creatively.

A big inspiration toward this creative drive were a few of my friends following their own creative pursuits, such as vlogging (check out my lovely lady Georgia Parker’s Youtube channel)  and blogs etc.

For anyone that knows me, they would know how much I love photography. Especially when I am in new places, or travelling!

As such, my two most recent book purchases are… drumroll, please… photography books!

Both are by Henry Carroll:

  1. ‘Read this if you want to take great photographs of people’; and
  2. ‘Read this if you want to take great photographs of place’.

I’d seen these two books in a few bookstores and had the obligatory flick through them, and decided I wanted them on my bookshelf.

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Support your local businesses and pick them up from the National Library of Australia Bookshop where I did, or at Paperchain Bookstore in Manuka. (Otherwise if you are trying to save pennies and don’t mind waiting, I’m sure you can find them online)

Well, back to the (text)books.

Affectionately Yours,

Anika x

EXPLORE // Follow me on an Autumn trail

I would have to say that Autumn is my favourite season (although Spring is a close contender). I love the colours of the leaves and Canberra, biased as I may be, is one of the best places to be if you want to soak in the vibrant colours this season has to offer.

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So, where are the best places to go? I’m going to take you on a tour of my favourite places to find the prettiest leaves this fall.

1. Barton

Barton particularly has glorious-coloured foliage that you just can’t miss. If you park near Darling Street and make your way to Bowen Park, you will catch a glimpse of the following trees:

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2. Lake Burley Griffin

From Bowen Park, make your way to Lake Burley Griffin. Along this path, you will find many people enjoying the sunshine… from cycling to walking or simply enjoying the scenery.

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3. The National Library of Australia

Walk along the lake from Bowen Park until you reach Patrick White Terrace. Closer to the lake, you will find a path carved by trees, and seasonally coloured they are. Once you are ready for a beverage (whether this be coffee or another kind), make your way past the trees to Bookplate Cafe at the National Library of Australia to finish your autumn trail.

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Now now, I have not forgotten about other great autumn spots:

1. Red Hill and Narrabundah

Since you’re already around the area, why not check out what Red Hill/Narrabundah has to offer. See my Instagram posts here and here.

2. The Australian National University

If you are around the city, check out what my stomping ground (the ANU) has to offer. In fact, I would recommend this stretch of trees in all seasons.

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3. Ainslie

If you are around the inner north, I’d recommend Wakefield Avenue in Ainslie. The streets are still beaming with colour from the autumn leaves, and if I do say so myself, it makes for some great photography!

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Where are your favourite places in Canberra to view the autumn leaves?

Affectionately Yours,

Anika x

Hi, hello, it’s me

Well, I suppose I should introduce myself…

My name is Anika and I am a 20 year old student living in Canberra. I study full-time, and work part-time on top of that. When I am not at university or work, you will find me on the hunt for the best brunches I can find (#smashedavo), dogspotting or lost in nature.

I made this blog because I figured it’s about time and I’m probably posting too much for Instagram to handle. Plus, it’s the new cool thing to do.

On here, you’ll probably find hot tips (such as the best spots to view autumn leaves) and things I am interested in, including nature, fashion, coffee and food.

Enjoy!

Affectionately Yours,

Anika x