Welcome back to Hayley Lately. Each month, this is where I chat about my life and what I’ve been up to in Melbourne. Keep reading to discover the book I couldn’t put down, my new favourite show and the best Melbourne eats.
April included a lot of work and a little play. I’m still struggling to balance my online work with my offline work, which will probably always be a work in progress. But over Easter weekend, I got to catch up with two different friends who were visiting Melbourne. We ate some good food (more on that below), walked around the city and headed to St Kilda to see the penguins at the end of the pier. There were so many, I think we spent at least 30 minutes just staring at them.
The following weekend, I stepped out of my comfort zone and met up with two girls from Instagram. I’ve found it so hard to meet people outside of work in my 20s. Moving every 18 months doesn’t help matters either. But the girls were so nice and we went for a little walk around Fitzroy to check out some street art. I’m sure we’ll meet up again soon.
The next week my body decided it was allergic to something in the air and I was struck down with hayfever for a few days. Fortunately, it happened during a week without too much offline work, but it was hard to make myself just rest. I also caught up with a friend for brunch and an adventure to the National Gallery of Victoria. I’m not usually a gallery person, but I’d seen a lot of fun and colourful photos from the Triennial exhibition. So we visited on its second last day and did have a lot of fun checking out the colourful photo booth, digital displays and other interactive exhibits. We loved doing something a little different and I want to find more free things like that in Melbourne. Any suggestions?
This month I’ve finally gotten back into reading. I finished Paris for One, which is a book of short stories by JoJo Moyes. I am a big fan of her, but I thought the Paris for One story could have easily been transformed into a solid standalone book. I wanted more! I also read The Mountain Between Us, which is now a movie starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet. It’s about how two strangers survive a plane crash in a snowy mountain range in the States. Not my usual reading, but I nonetheless enjoyed it.
Finally, my boss/friend lent me Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I had been wanting to read it since I heard Reese Witherspoon bought the movie rights. It took me awhile to get into the book, as I found the main character instantly irritating. But by the middle I was hooked. HIGHLY recommend.
If you haven’t checked out this month’s blog posts yet, here they are.
♥ All the free and cheap things to do in Vancouver. There will definitely be more Vancouver content in the coming months.
♥ Another solo travel post. This one details my favourite cities to visit alone in the US.
♥ I wrote a slightly shorter post about the best things I ate in Amsterdam too.
I’ve also been one of the first people to enrol in The Department of Wandering’s Blog Boost course, which I’ve been working on in April (because I obviously needed more to do). Nonetheless, I have been wanting to do a course to see if I could pick up some extra information to help grow this blog of mine. But there are so many blogger e-courses out there, I didn’t know where to start. When an email from Rachel landed in my inbox, I thought the time is now. So far it’s definitely been worthwhile, as I’ve got a growing list of blog post ideas and a growing list of improvements I want to make. Watch this space!
In April I finished watching The Good Doctor and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t think I needed to watch another medical drama, but this one does definitely have a different angle. I am also slowly making my way through Madam Secretary and The Good Place on Netflix. I love Kristen Bell, seriously.
Finally, I treated myself to a midday and mid-week movie date this week to see Love, Simon. I really enjoyed the cast and the storyline, and may have shed a few tears. I also just discovered that the cinema a 10-minute walk from my apartment has reclining seats only. Game changer.
First up was the weekend chicken and waffles special at Belle’s Hot Chicken. I’ve visited Belle’s a few times now for brunch and lunch and love it. Next I visited Monroe, which is actually only about a 15-minute walk from my apartment. The cafe was small but quiet for a Sunday and the food was excellent. I will definitely be returning sometime.
I also happened to visit Rustica Sourdough twice this month. Their chocolate and peanut butter croissant was heavenly and they also do pumpkin bread rolls, which I took home to toast. SO good. Finally, my old housemate and I visited one of the last Queen Victoria Night Markets after work one Wednesday. I didn’t realise how many food options there were. It took us about 30 minutes just to look at all the stalls, before we decided on dinner and dessert. I went for a porchetta roll (YUM) and churros, because it had been awhile.
This month on The Culture Trip, I wrote a feature on Crystal Castle in the Byron Bay Hinterland — did you know this place existed? I also wrote about Melbourne’s best kept secrets and why you should most definitely visit Port Douglas (it’s pretty than Cairns, let’s be honest).
That’s a wrap. May will be a slightly more exciting month, as I’m heading home to Magnetic Island. I hope you all have a great month!