30 Before 30: the Pear and Ivy bucket list

When it comes to setting goals, I tend to focus on creating short-term, easily achievable goals. I tend to lose focus before I come close to sorting out my long-term goals.
But there are a few things that I know that I definitely want to do with my life, and rather than just dawdle through the world, I thought it’d be good to make a proper bucket list of things that I want to get done by the time I’m 30.
I’ll be turning 21 this year, so that’s nine years to complete this list. Yes, I could do these things at any point in my life, but I’d rather get things done while I’m still full of energy and impulsive ideas. Stuff will probably change as I get older and learn new things, but these are the things (at the moment) that I know I definitely want to achieve before I turn 30.

Travel anywhere and everywhere!
I’ve never been sure about the things that you’re supposed to be certain about (career, marriage, family), but the only certainty that I have is that I want to see more of the world. I’d really love to go to places like Scotland, Germany, New Zealand, Hawaii, Italy, Egypt, Ireland, Denmark and Japan, but I’d honestly be open to going anywhere!

Take the Great Ocean Road trip
Australia is chockers with beautiful places and weird animals (looking at you, cassowaries), so it makes sense to see some of these epic things. I’ve always heard that Great Ocean Road is stunning, so I’m really keen to get down to Victoria and check it out!

Donate blood
I’ve signed up to be an organ donor, but why stop there? Why not do something small that could make a big difference in someone else’s life?

Finish writing 2 novels
At this present moment, I’ve yet to finish the draft of my debut novel. But I’d like to believe that I won’t just stop at one novel, I’ll knock out at least one more before my fingers are riddled with arthritis.

Swim with sharks
Anyone who’s anyone knows that I am madly in love with sharks (especially tiger sharks). So I’d like to get in the water with them someday and have a paddle. Whether I swim with tiger sharks in the Bahamas or alongside the whale sharks near Exmouth, I’d be thrilled to do this!

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Get a tattoo
Someday, I’d like to get ‘Tutankhamun’ in hieroglyphics to commemorate my beloved cat. Having considered this tattoo for quite some time, I like to think that I won’t regret it when I’m 197 and the tramp of the nursing home (unless I get it on my forehead…).

Climb up the Eiffel Tower
I’m still kicking myself for not going to the top of the Eiffel Tower when I went to Paris in 2014.

Make creme brulee (successfully)
I love cooking (and eating the final results). But the one thing that I can never cook is creme brulee. The last time I attempted to make it, the creme brulee had the taste and consistency of candle wax.

Adopt a cat
While I wish that my cat could be immortal, I know that at some stage he will go to Feline Valhalla. So someday I’d like to open my heart and home to a cat who needs it.

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Go blonde
Right now, I’m the hottest new member of the Redhead Club. But having been a brunette all my life, I know that I need to take the plunge someday and go blonde!

Try calligraphy
My handwriting is feral. Even doctors look at my handwriting and wince. So all those cute videos of calligraphy have made me decide to give it a go. It’d be nice to have some form of handwriting that isn’t completely atrocious.

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Learn a language.
Not fluently, but just be able to speak it and not sound like a weirdo.

Plant a tree
It’s important to make a positive difference in this world. And even if I don’t become famous or solve poverty, at least in this smallest and simplest of ways I would have made a positive contribution to the grand scheme of things.

Go to an opera
I love getting dressed up to go to plays and musicals. But I’ve never been to an opera and I feel like I’m missing out on something. I went to a ballet once and it was boring, so if you’ve been to an opera, can you tell me if it’s any good?

Go to Les Deux Moulins (the cafe in Amelie)
Another thing that I failed to do in Paris was to visit the cafe that is featured in my all-time favourite movie. This bucket list has me wondering if I actually did anything when I was in France?

Learn how to do a smoky eye (and actually do it)
Having been in a consistent Goth phase for the past 13 years, it’s confusing as to why I’ve never worn a smoky eye. So I’d like to get out of my Cleopatra eyeliner rut and try some other look that says ‘I HATE EVERYONE!’

See the Great Barrier Reef (before it dies)
I’ve never met someone who said: “I went to the Great Barrier Reef and it was a boring crock of shit.” Not only is the GBR ecologically invaluable and worth protecting, it’s also incredibly beautiful and well worth going to see.

Write more letters to people
In this world of emails and tagging friends in memes, it’s too easy to forget the joy of receiving a hand-written letter or a postcard. So I’d like to be able to pass that kind of thrill around to people.

Go on a holiday with my squad
Many bucket lists suggest that one should ‘travel alone.’ HELL NAH. As much as I love getting quality ‘me time,’ travelling is something that I need to do with at least one other person. And nothing says #ultimatesquadgoals quite like travelling with your girls.

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Stay overnight somewhere haunted
None of my squad would probably do this with me (boo), but if I find someone crazy enough, then we’re finding somewhere haunted and staying there through the night. And hopefully, we won’t get murdered by a ghost.

Get a hammock/swinging chair thing
I’ve wanted one of these fuckers since I was a kid. They look like they’d make a great reading nook.

Attend Dia de Los Muertos 
Halloween is for basic bitches, Dia de Los Muertos is where it’s at. The pictures that I see of Dia de Los Muertos festivals look incredibly beautiful and exciting.

Have a dedicated book room in my house
This step requires me to actually get my shit together and move out of my Mum’s house. But the thought of a whole room full of books (and maybe that hammock chair) is super tempting. One day I’d like to actually achieve that.

Go to a wine and painting class
Lord knows what kind of shenanigans would happen when Drunk Viv meets paint, but time will only tell.

Try fencing/salsa dancing
There’s no strong motive for me to do this, other than the simple reason: “why not?”

Buy myself sunflowers
I hate getting flowers from people but for some weird reason, I like the idea of buying my own.

Meet someone famous
I’ve met/come super close to a few famous Australians in my time (Kate Miller-Heidke, Bindi Irwin, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Kanen Breen, Pauline Hanson…), but none of them is famous with a capital F.

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Get a nose piercing 
Yet another thing my family would kill me for, but IT’S MY GODDAMN NOSE, AND I WILL DO WHAT I WANT.

Buy more ethical clothing (no polyester, no supporting companies who use child labour) 
Too often, I buy clothes from companies that either exploit children or are not ecologically sustainable. So I’d like to start making more wise choices when I buy clothes and invest more in the quality of things that I do buy.

Give more support to causes that I believe in
I’d like to get involved with more protests, donate to more grassroots charities and write more letters to politicians. The world has never found any kind of change from people who sit on their arse and remain complacent.

In short, I think I just want to see more of the world, experience more things and make a difference for the environment whenever I can.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy xx

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2017: the pear-y good year

Every year consists of 365 opportunities to do something awesome… or just sit down on the couch and do absolutely nothing. I tried to make it a healthy balance between both things this year, and I like to think that the results speak for themselves.

This is a little snippet of some of the more eventful things to happen to me this year. If you’ve made it this far, keep going, there’s pictures!

Roadtrip through NSW (well, some of it)
In January, my boyfriend™ and I went on a road trip along the north coast of New South Wales. We saw dolphins at Yamba, watched the sun rise over Byron Bay and checked out some waterfalls at Dorrigo National Park. It was a really great road trip, and I do like going on adventures with this weirdo.

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Byron Bay Lighthouse, just as the sun was rising.

Map of Tasmania
If you’re a cool person, you definitely saw my photos on Instagram of my trip to Tasmania. My pro-tip, if you’re thinking of visiting Tassie, skip Hobart.
That’s right. Skip the capital city, there is genuinely nothing seriously interesting to see in Hobart, other than the museums.

I never wrote a more comprehensive post about my trip to Tasmania (could’ve, should’ve, didn’t), but I can tell you that the smaller towns are more interesting and better to visit. Port Arthur, Launceston, and Richmond are just a few of the best places in Tassie to check out.

Thought my cat was going to die
I don’t have a ‘fur baby,’ I have a ‘fur senior citizen.’ Even though he’s really cute and the best damn thing in the universe, I’ve still been very paranoid about the idea of him passing away.

So it was worrying when he started exhibiting some sketchy symptoms. I took Tutc to the vet yesterday, where he was diagnosed with constipation.
That’s right.
CONSTI-FUCKING-PATION! 
Having been so scared that he might have cancer or kidney failure, I was so relieved with his diagnosis that I burst out laughing.

8 Word Story
I’m a writer (sometimes). And it’s always exciting when I write something and people (other than my mum*) read it. So when I submitted some stories to the Queensland Writer’s Centre for their 8 Word Story competition, I was really stoked when one of them was displayed on billboards throughout Brisbane for the general public to read.

Saw some great shows
I’ve nourished my need for culture and sophistication by going to see the following shows and concerts:

  • Single Asian Female and Lady Beatle (La Boite Theatre Company)
  • Matilda, Russell Howard, and Kate Miller-Heidke (QPAC)
  • Amanda Palmer (Melt Festival @ Brisbane Powerhouse)

In June, I’ll finally finish my Arts degree and graduate! No other plans have been made for 2018 thus far, but I’m hoping that it’ll be another exciting year that’s full of hectic shenanigans. Ideally, it’ll also be the year that I actually finish working on my debut novel, but we’ll see what my naturally lazy mindset has to say about that.

If you’ve got any interesting New Years resolutions, or if you’re doing anything exciting for New Year’s Eve, leave a cheeky comment.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy xx

* This is a blatant lie as my mum probably only reads 28% of the things that I actually write.

The Pear and Ivy Book Club (December)

With Hanukkah/Christmas just around the corner, there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book and ignoring things like gift wrapping and spending time with your loved ones (sorry Mum). Here are some of the books that I’ll be reading throughout the December/Hanukkah period (or late November if I’m impatient).

 

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Here are some of the people I will actively ignore this month in favour of reading books

 

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematorium – Caitlin Doughty
I’ve been addicted to Doughty’s YouTube channel ‘Ask a Mortician‘ since October, so I was incredibly stoked to find that she had written a book. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes is a memoir about coming face to face with death and exploring attitudes towards death and dying. All future corpses should give this a read.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
One of my closest friends recommended this book to me, and when I read the blurb I was considerably intrigued. The Curious Incident of the Obnoxiously Long Title promises to be a unique and intriguing murder-mystery novel, so I’m pretty keen to dive in and read this.

Homo Deus – Yuval Noah Harari
After reading Harari’s brilliant debut work Sapiens in November, I feel compelled to learn even more about the human race and what the future might reveal for us. Homo Deus has received excellent reviews from critics, so this should be an excellent read. If you haven’t read Sapiens, get onto it. Sapiens reveals fascinating insights into how the human race has developed throughout history.

If any of these books are ones that you would genuinely consider reading next month, let me know! Book discussions are the best discussions IMO, and I’d love to make the Pear and Ivy Book Club a recurring thing. And if you’ve got a book that you’d love to recommend, please leave a juicy comment.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy x

NOTE: Some of the pictures used in this post aren’t mine, so just be aware of that. But you should definitely follow Caitlin Doughty on Instagram because she makes really cool posts! 

On Not Graduating (Yet)

In my first year of uni, I failed a subject and it’s reshuffled the natural order of uni-related things. So I won’t be graduating from this Arts degree until 2018, and the sad part is that I won’t be graduating alongside most of my friends and colleagues. When they graduate, I won’t be up there with them, wearing the weird hat and holding the expensive piece of paper. I’ve been aware of this for a while, but the reality has only just kicked me in the guts.

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I know that life’s not a race, but it’s hard to not feel that way. I imagine that I’m at the starting line, the gun’s fired, everyone else is already miles ahead… and I’m still getting my joggers on. And it’s hard not to feel the need to be competitive, especially when it looks like everyone else you know seems to be winning the Life Race:
“Sandra is onto her third Nobel Prize.”
“Your cousin Bethany-Rae is only 3 and she’s found the cure for pancreatic cancer.”
“I’m engaged to my personal trainer and we’ve taught 35 blind kids how to read.” For a while, my coping mechanism has to been to find the bad thing in Sandra’s life in order to boost my own ego. Sure, Sandra might have three Nobel Prizes, but she’s jealous of her friend Ethel, who has five Nobel Prizes.

While it feels like balance has been restored to the universe because Sandra secretly feels inadequate, it’s not the healthiest way to live my life. I’m sure there are people out there who can boast about how being competitive has worked for them, but it’s proven for me to be really unhealthy. It’s a toxic way to live life if the only reason you try to improve yourself is to be better than your friends: Gavin and Sharon have such a great relationship, so I need my relationship with Barry to be better than theirs. I need to be a better dentist than Karen. I don’t even like being a dentist, but I’ve gotta destroy her at something. 

You can’t get ahead in life if your plan is to run at someone else’s pace or to be The Next (Insert Name Here). There’s no true satisfaction in being The Next Beyonce or The Next Cate Blanchett, and you can only set yourself up for inadequacy. By being ‘The Next Cate Blanchett,’ you’ve removed any potential for you to be better than Cate Blanchett.
I can’t be The Next Harper Lee, but I can be The First Vivienne Coburn. And the great thing about being The First at something is that no one else (except the toddlers on YouTube who can play Beethoven on every instrument) is ever going to be better than you at what you do. It sounds super lame and utterly corny, but it’s the truth. Hopefully, I’ll remember it when I finish things next year, and when I finally get to wear the stupid hat at the end of 2018.

If you think I should write fewer self-righteous rant posts and stick to food reviews, or if you think I should move to Wagga Wagga to start an apple farm, let me know by leaving a cheeky comment.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy x

 

Crimson Nights: Band Profile and Gig Review

Crimson Nights is a Brisbane based funk rock band. The members of Crimson Nights met through their Bachelor of Music course at QUT, and they have since developed into one of Brisbane’s coolest emerging bands. Crimson Nights aim to excite and delight their audiences by playing the very best funk rock music, with a dash of heavy rock and some grunge undertones. It’s a unique combination that has worked to make Crimson Nights memorable. Inspired by some of the biggest names in the alternative rock and funk music scene (Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Arctic Monkeys and Stevie Nicks, to name a few), audiences at a Crimson Nights gig can expect to hear a mix of covers as well as some of their own original songs.

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Last month, Crimson Nights were the headlining act at The Milk Factory Take Over in West End. The Milk Factory is not only a great place to relax with a craft beer and a parmigiana, but it’s also a prime destination to check out some of Brisbane’s most incredible live music acts. Crimson Nights were supported by Kriza & Roy Music and Archogenus. Archogenus delivered a range of relaxed acoustic guitar covers, while Kriza & Roy performed an incredible set of original songs, with piano ballads, electronic pop and acoustic songs included in their setlist.

Crimson Nights kicked things off with their electrifying cover of Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Take Me Out,’ which is always a crowd favourite at their gigs. This was followed by their original song ‘Boys Don’t Marry,’ which featured some incredible guitar licks from guitarist Beau Simpson, and followed by a great cover of the iconic ‘Danny California’ from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Other standout original songs that followed included their soulful rock ballads ‘Fire Water’ and ‘I Still Believe in Love,’ with pulsing punk rock songs ‘City of Love’ and ‘XTC’ featuring dynamic and intense vocals from lead singer Jess Keble. Another standout original song was ‘Charismatic Man,’ which featured intense beats from drummer Saul Saragossi and bassist Mitch McLaurie. Crimson Nights finished the show with an epic, soulful rendition of Muse’s ‘Feeling Good.’

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As well as gaining further popularity in the Brisbane music scene, Crimson Nights are also set to release their debut EP in the coming months. For more information about their upcoming gigs, you can follow the official Crimson Nights Facebook and Twitter pages, or you can check out their website to listen to some demo tracks from their upcoming EP.

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Some Thoughts From Me

It’s been some time since I’ve written anything. But I want to write this because the furore over the same-sex plebiscite is driving me insane. The conversation surrounding the plebiscite has been hurtful to the people of the LGBT community and their families. The amount of money being spent on the plebiscite is money that would be better spent on helping the environment (we could probably buy a whole new Great Barrier Reef for $122 million). And above all things, the plebiscite does not promise to legalise same-sex marriage. If the majority of Australian voters say ‘yes,’ the only thing the government will do is pitch to Parliament the idea of changing the Marriage Act (as opposed to actually changing it). However, if the majority of voters say ‘no,’ the issue will be dismissed and Parliament will resume its job of doing nothing productive for this country.

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This does not mean that our opinions and voices are any less important. If anything, the ‘yes’ votes will encourage parliamentary discussion. Voting ‘no’ only means that the issue of same-sex marriage is swept back under the rug. Even if you’re opposed to same-sex marriage, I’d ask you to consider voting ‘yes’ just to encourage parliamentarians to stop avoiding the issue and actually talk about it.
Of course, I’m not voting ‘yes’ purely because I want the MPs to get off their ass and do something. I’m voting yes for several reasons:

I’m voting yes because I want the government to acknowledge the relationships of LGBT couples as valid. They should be able to receive the same financial and legal protections that come with marriage and not one of those flakey civil unions that aren’t federally recognised.

I’m voting yes because legalising same-sex marriage isn’t going to be a gateway to legalising things like paedophilia and incest. In Australia, sexual conduct can legally only take place between consenting adults. It is unlikely that the age of consent will change. Also, you can be sent to prison for incest and registered as a sex offender. You can no longer be sent to prison for being gay.

I’m voting yes because God isn’t real enough to be offended by same-sex marriage. Besides, He has other things that I’d prefer Him to focus on (such as stopping child sexual abuse in His own religious institutions and defeating those evil bastards who eat shellfish).

I’m voting yes because the primary function of marriage shouldn’t be about having kids. The relationships and lives of childless couples (or childless people) shouldn’t be any less meaningful because they don’t have kids. If this is the case, let me just crawl back into the Dark Ages and end my meaningless life.

I’m voting yes because I don’t believe children ‘deserve a mother and a father.’ It’s crazy that this is even something people are concerned about. Would you tell a child with an abusive father/mother that this was the parental unit they deserved? If anything, children deserve a family that loves them and treats them with respect. Children don’t specifically require a mother and a father in order to be a functioning member of society. I challenge all those opposed to same-sex marriage to look a single mother in the eye and tell her that she’s not looking out for her child’s best interests by being single. Had anyone said that to my mother (who spent most of my childhood as a single parent), she would have rightfully torn them to shreds.

I’m voting yes because I genuinely can’t see marriage as being a Sacred Contract For The Rest of Your Life™, let alone a sacred contract exclusively for heterosexual couples. If the sanctity of marriage is so profound and mysterious, why aren’t conservatives campaigning to make adultery illegal? Why was it OK for Kim Kardashian to casually call it quits after 72 days of living under the Sacred Contract?

I truly want to see my LGBT friends get married to the people that they love. I want to go to their fabulous weddings. I want to see them raise functioning children (mostly to spite the conservative naysayers). I want my LGBT friends to get married in this sunburnt country and I’m sick of conservative politicians dodging the issue.

What Your Coffee Order Says About You

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Mocha: There comes a time in a boys life where he has to put down the hot chocolate and become a man.

Flat White: My ugly haircut and I need to speak to your manager.

Tea/Hot Chocolate (I Don’t Drink Coffee): It’s been several years since I started puberty, but I still can’t grow a beard. Even my grandma has more facial hair than I do.

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Extra Hot: I like poetry, long walks on the beach, and drinking things that taste like death.

Decaf: People really misunderstand Pauline Hanson. She’s the best thing for this country when you think about it. Not that I can actually think about it, as my IQ is only 66.

DARE Iced Coffee: I’m not ready for the real world.

Almond/Soy Milk: My yoga pants are made from ethically sourced cotton and the proceeds support vegan children in Africa. And my farts are organic.

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Decaf Coffee with Soy Milk: There is a special place in Hell for people like me.

Cappuccino: There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m really quite normal. Except for the fact that all of my friends are cats.

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Long Black: Feel that? Even my chest hairs have chest hair.

Starbucks Coffee: I have more Snapchat followers than brain cells, LOL! #pumpkinspicedunicornfrappe #whitegirlz #squadgoals #yassskween

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Chai Latte: When I finish my Cert III in Makeup Artistry, I want to backpack around India for a year.

Chai Latte with Almond Milk: I’m not like other girls. I have a nipple piercing and a Sylvia Plath quote for everything.

Piccolo Latte: I haven’t actually come out of the closet yet. I just need to acquire more glitter and several pink elephants.

Sunshine Coast 101

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I recently went to Caloundra. A small break from reality (and uni) was something I’ve needed for a little while, and it was nice to relax and have some little adventures.
The Sunshine Coast is one of my favourite places in Queensland. It’s a place I’ve been visiting since childhood, so there’s always an element of nostalgia wherever I go.
If you’re wondering what to do for your next weekend holiday on the Sunny Coast, I’ve made a little list of all the best places to visit.

Montville
Noteworthy places in Montville include the Clock Shop, Poet’s Cafe, The Chapel, local art galleries, the Montrose water wheel, and the local pub. There’s also some fantastic local parks and nearby bush walking locations, as well as a gorgeous view of the Blackall Ranges.

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Son of a Beach 
Caloundra is home to several kickass beaches, but my personal favourites are King’s Beach, Moffat Beach, and Dicky Beach. Kings Beach is one of Caloundra’s most popular beaches, due to all the cool stuff it has (rock pools, water fountains, kick arse playground, cafes, saltwater pools, great waves). Get there early for a good spot on the beach. Dicky Beach is more humble than King’s Beach, but it’s far less crowded. And Moffat Beach isn’t much of a swimming beach, but it has a great view of the ocean and some great cafes (and an awesome playground).

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The cure for Hump Day
One of the best coffee spots is Coffee Cat on Kings Beach. Not only is the coffee excellent, but the food and customer service are impeccable. Get onto it, pronto!

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Fifteen Minutes Into Noosa and Chill…
There is so much to do in Noosa. The beaches are fantastic, and the cafes and restaurants on Hastings Street are superb. You can pick up some ice cream at Copenhagen, grab a burger from Betty’s Burgers, and wash it all down with a beer at the Surf Club. Another great place in Noosa is The River Read. It’s a gorgeous bookstore and cafe, and you should definitely go there and buy a book (and a coffee).

Time for Pie 
Meat pies are the classic Australian staple, and if I was Prime Minister, we’d all be required to eat at least one meat pie every day. To experience what are definitely the BEST MEAT PIES EVER, head over to Beefy’s and grab one of their Signature Steak pies. The pies at Beefy’s will change your life.

These Boots Are Made For (bush)Walking
Sometimes, the best way to reconnect with nature is by walking through it. The Glass House Mountains loom over one of the most beautiful areas of the Sunshine Coast, and there’s plenty of walking tracks on offer. Or you can take a walk through the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve and immerse yourself in the beauty of the rainforest.

Eumundi
It’s a given that no trip to the Sunshine Coast is complete without a visit to the Eumundi Markets. One of the best things about the Eumundi Markets is the wide range of food on offer. Try some of the locally made produce, grab a coffee, eat a cheese kransky, indulge in some hot doughnuts… Just eat a bit of everything, and you can’t go wrong.

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Other noteworthy places on the Sunshine Coast include Mooloolaba, Maleny, Australia Zoo, The Curry Bowl, The Big Pineapple, and the humongous shopping centre at Maroochydore.
If you can recommend any other places on the Sunshine Coast, or if you have any suggestions for future posts, or if you would like to know the meaning of life, leave me a comment.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy x

The A to Z Guide to Brisbane

For our 1st birthday, the Pear and Ivy team decided to release one of the best posts that (we think) we’ve ever written. This comprehensive guide to Brisbane is our gift to you. Enjoy it and share it with your imaginary friends.

A is for Australia’s Third-Largest City
We’ve got cheaper housing prices than Sydney and fewer hipsters than Melbourne. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

B is for Bookshops
The top 3 bookshops in Brisbane include Bent Books in West End, the two-storey Dymocks in Queen Street and Archives Fine Books on Charlotte Street. Other great places for books and literary discussion include the Lifeline Bookfest and the Brisbane Writer’s Festival.

C is for City Cycles
Real Brisbane locals know better than to ride a City Cycle. They’re just not cool. There have been families that were torn apart because someone experimented with City Cycles.

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D is for Doughnut Time
Doughnut Time was founded in Brisbane. So it’s technically a great way to eat more ‘locally’ sourced food.

E is for Eat Street Markets
The bustling agora of the Eat Street Markets is a delight for local foodies and hipsters. Home to cronuts, street food from every culture, Japanese pizzas, crêpes, cheesecake sundaes, gourmet sausages and other delightful creations, it’s one of the best places to visit in Brisbane.

F is for Food and Coffee Scene
Suburbs like Paddington, West End, Fortitude Valley and South Bank boast some of the most amazing restaurants and cafes in Brisbane. Places like Bean, Coffee Iconic, the Cat Cuddle Cafe, Atticus Finch Cafe, Brew and John Mills Himself are some of the best places to go to for quality coffee. There’s also places like Abode Cafe, Arriva Italian Restaurant, Chop Chop Sushi, Seoul Bistro (Sunnybank), Soul Bistro (Milton), and The Victory Hotel (their parmigiana is awesome). And the Brisbane kebab scene is pretty nifty (especially the 24/7 kebab shop on George Street. The halal snack packs are a gift from the gods).

G is for GOMA
You’ve recreated the ‘flying’ scene from Titanic on the City Cat. You’ve bought her dinner at the Jamie Oliver restaurant. What else is there to do in this relationship, you ask. Just take your beloved to GOMA for the day. Not only does it have air-conditioning and free entry, but she’ll think you’re so intellectual and cultured.

H is for History 
Our local history is humble, but it features things like the Manning murder conspiracy, heaps of local legends and plenty of ghost stories. Places like the Boggo Road Gaol, Toowong Cemetery, Wolston House, Old Government House, St Helena Island and Newstead House are perfect for your local history fix. There’s also the remains of the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum, but they’re always monitored by the police.

I is for Ibis
Brisbane is home to many bin chicken colonies. Places like South Bank, the CBD, QUT Kelvin Grove and the City Botanic Gardens are infested with trash turkeys.

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J is for Jazz
The Brisbane Jazz Club is an amazing place to check out if you’re into jazz music. It’s described as being ‘the only venue totally dedicated to live jazz’ and it has a fantastic view of the Brisbane River, the Story Bridge and the city.

K is for Kangaroo Point
The cliffs at Kangaroo Point are an amazing place for rock climbing, jogging and taking in the scenery of the Brisbane River. It’s also a great place for a picnic.

L is for Local Music Scene
Brisbane has been the starting point of established bands like Ball Park Music, Savage Garden, The Veronicas, Violent Soho and Powderfinger. But there’s also many emerging musicians on the scene, including Belrose, Johanna and Jayden, Port Royal, Whalehouse, and The Jumpkicks. Head to places like Ric’s Bar, Sonny’s House of Blues, The Zoo, The Brisbane Jazz Club, Black Bear Lodge, The Milk Factory and The Foundry to get a glimpse of what the local music scene has to offer.

M is for Mt Coot-tha
The Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens are one of the most beautiful places in Brisbane. It’s the most serene place to have a picnic, but you can also visit the planetarium or walk to the top of Mt Coot-tha to check out a fantastic view of the Brisbane city skyline, or the sunrise if you’re hardcore.

N is for New Farm Park
New Farm Park has amazing gardens, excellent views of the city and the river, and it’s right next to the Brisbane Powerhouse. It also happens to have one of the most kickass playgrounds in Brisbane. You should definitely have your next picnic at New Farm Park.

O is for “Oh my God, the ibis have ruined our picnic”
Those feathery bastards are persistent. They will not rest until they’ve ruined your life and stolen your chips.
P is for Pear and Ivy
Out of all the food/lifestyle blogs in Australia, Pear and Ivy is clearly the one blog that deserves to rule the world.

Q is for QPAC
You can’t call yourself a true local if you’ve never seen at least one performance at QPAC. It’s the hub of sophistication and culture in Brisbane. Even if you go there to watch the ballet with your Nan, it’s something that will ensure your status as a true-blue Brisbanite.

R is for Retail Therapy
Even though online shopping is one of the marvels of the 21st century, there’s nothing like actually going shopping for some new shoes or another dress. Places like Queen Street Mall, Westfield Chermside and Indooroopilly are my go-to places for a bit of retail therapy.

S is for South Bank
If not for the 1988 World Expo, we wouldn’t have South Bank’s sprawling cultural hub. Sites of interest include the Nepalese Pagoda, the Wheel of Brisbane, Street’s Beach, the Maritime Museum (the current home of Jessica Watson’s boat)… and thousands of ibis.

T is for Theatre Scene
Brisbane has an amazing theatre scene. Companies like Queensland Theatre, Brisbane Arts Theatre, Brisbane Musical Theatre and La Boite Theatre frequently produce fantastic performances from local actors and performers.

U is for “yoU going to the Ekka?”
The Ekka is one of the most exciting events of the year. It heralds a time of show bags, strawberry sundaes, petting cute animals and exchanging the ‘Ekka flu.’ It is a sacred custom for locals to ask each other “you going to the Ekka?” and “what show bags are you gonna get?” prior to the beginning of the Ekka season.

V is for Valley
Fortitude Valley is not only home to Brisbane’s best pubs and clubs, but it also features some great cafes, restaurants and kebab shops.
TIP: Try the poutine (chips, gravy and cheese) from 5 Dogs Hotdogs. It’s amazing!

W is for Wax
Of course, there’s no point checking out any of these amazing places if your eyebrows look terrible. Before you resign yourself to a lifetime of wearing a paper bag, get in touch with Perfect Brow Design and book a brow wax and tint. The service and attention to detail (not to mention the final result) are amazing.

X is for I’m not eXaggerating, there are ibises everywhere
Some of the good picnic spots in Brisbane (South Bank and New Farm Park) are infested with bin chickens. You can either avoid these areas altogether, or you can make the most of it and try to coexist with the garbage geese.

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Y is for whY even bother trying to shoo away the ibis?
Of course, no matter how much you try to shoo away the ibis, some of them are incredibly persistent. Scientific studies have proven that the ibis at QUT Kelvin Grove are some of the most persistent bin chickens on the planet.

Z is for Ziggy
Ziggy the Bag Man is one of Brisbane’s most intriguing local celebrities. Apparently, if you buy him his favourite ice cream, he’ll do an interview with you.

 

If you have any suggestions for future posts, please leave a comment! And if you thoroughly enjoyed this post or if you definitely enjoyed this post, share it with everyone you know.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy x

 

Hidden Gems of the CBD

When you’re out and about in Queen Street Mall, there are all sorts of wonderful things to experience: the jazzy tunes from the saxophone dude, the gorgeous aroma of LUSH bath bombs, and the two-storey Dymocks. All of these things can be seen with the naked eye, but there are some fantastic hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. And we’ve rounded up the best places so you don’t have to look for them yourself!

Archives Fine Books
Book lovers of Brisbane need to add Archives Fine Books to their bucket list. This bookstore is home to some gorgeous old books, as well as the gorgeous smell of the aforementioned old books. According to the owners, there is a seven-year curse for those who dare to steal one of their books… Whether you believe in curses or not, you can’t deny there’s something magical about Archives.

John Mills Himself
By day, it’s a cafe hidden beneath Archives Fine Books. By night, it’s a bustling cocktail bar. John Mills Himself is a tiny establishment that is home to some fantastic coffee and craft spirits. It is the living embodiment of the quote “good things come in small packages.”

Coffee Iconic
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Melbourne is the coffee capital of Australia. But rather than fly there to get a good coffee, head over to Coffee Iconic, which is a small slice of Melbourne (according to the staff). The food is delicious, the coffee is excellent, and there’s a charming garden to sit in. I plan on doing a more extensive review of Coffee Iconic, so watch this space!

Brew
If you’ve ever walked past the alley next to the 7-Eleven on Albert Street, you’ve missed out on an amazing bar/cafe. Brew not only has an awesome selection of food, alcohol and coffee (the best things in life), but they have a meal/drink deal for every day of the week!

Showroom 
Featuring home decor and fashion accessories from local entrepreneurs and web-based designers, Showroom is the perfect place to look at all the things that you’d put in your dream house. The aesthetic is marvellous, and when you’ve finished shopping, you can go to Le Bon Choix next door for a macaron!
(PS: If you click the link above, you can check out the Showroom collection online!)

Bean. 
This is the cafe that I have always recommended to my friends. I’ve bean frequenting Bean since 2014, as not only is the coffee divine and the hipster aesthetic charming, but the staff are some of the loveliest people you will ever meet. Bean also features a selection of board games and great food. It will be your new go-to coffee stop.

In exciting news, this Saturday (May 27) will mark the first anniversary of Pear and Ivy‘s inception. Our birthday plans involve cake, coffee and publishing a really kick-arse blog post. We’d like to ask our dearly beloved readers (that’s you!) to suggest ideas for this really kick-arse blog post, as we’d love to know what you want us to write about. It can be a food review, a recipe, Donald Trump’s tax returns… whatever you’re all secretly keen to see!

Much love,
Pear and Ivy xx

PS: The Instagram picture from Showroom is not mine. I included it in this post because it looked nice, but also to encourage y’all to follow them on Instagram. Cheers xx