Secret Beach

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I love swimming in the ocean on a really hot summer’s day. There is nothing better than the refreshing cool of the sea and the feeling of the sun drying salt water on your skin as you lie on the warm sand.

Matt’s parents have recently moved to the South Coast, which means we are there every other weekend and practically locals by association. This weekend, we went out in search of a secret beach.

Matt had heard about this beach – it is relatively unknown, even to locals, and is only accessible on foot. It didn’t take us long to find but once we did, we had the entire beach almost to ourselves. We spent a few hours cooling off in the ocean, drying off in the sun and exploring the rocky little alcove around the corner. A secluded beach on a long weekend in summer is a pretty rare find.

This little beach is one of the South Coast’s best kept secrets. And a secret it will remain – I’m not telling you where it is.

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Buy Local: The Fix Cold Pressed Juice

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I have so much love for local Canberrans doing cool things. When Lucianne from the Fix, Canberra’s first cold pressed juice company, approached me to try their juice and share my thoughts, I was pretty pumped.

I met Lucianne for coffee one morning last week and was thus inducted into the world of cold pressed juice. Over a soy cap or two, Lucianne shared with me her passion for the cold pressed process, life in Canberra and travelling the world, as well as the exciting news that they are opening up a new shopfront in Fyshwick soon.

1. Define the Fix in five words.

Seasonal health in a bottle.

2. How did you get started and why?

We want to make a genuine healthy alternative available to people.

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3. Why is cold pressed the best?

Simple. No heat is ever introduced during the extraction process. There is no blending. No oxidation. No preservatives. No additives. Just juice. Nothing, but the juice. Because it stays raw, you get loads more nutrients. Up to 6 times more!

4. What does buying local mean to you?

There is certainly a growing trend of buying local in Canberra. We love that! When you buy local you get a superior product. You can hold the maker accountable. You get better customer support and finally, you support your local economy. Overall, when you buy local, you are making a decision to invest in your local community, into people you see face to face. I think that is special.

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5. What do you love about living in Canberra?

Canberra is not like other cities. It is more like a big village. Everyone is connected and happy to lend a hand. A community of people with a growing entrepreneurial spirit.

6. What was the last place you travelled? Describe it in three words.

Micronesia – Tropical hidden paradise.

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Lucianne and her partner in life and in business, Jovan, have carved out their own piece of juice heaven in the local Canberra market. I’m most excited for the upcoming opening of their new shopfront in Fyshwick. You can follow the Fix on facebook and instagram for updates.

After my soy cap date with Lucianne, I came home with a box of the new summer range, ready to get my Fix and get my tastebuds around some of their unusual flavour combinations – tomato, watermelon and strawberry, anyone?

I spent my weekend taking photos of their cute new packaging and slurping down all of the juices. After all those vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, I literally bounced out of bed this morning.

Overall, the seven juices in the summer range are pretty flippin’ delicious. I particularly love that being a seasonal range, the produce is local, fresh and their fruit and veg combinations are pretty inventive – I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had rockmelon in a juice before.

Here is what I thought:

Grow – filtered water, cashews, almonds, mixed berries, agave

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This cashew almond milky goodness is one of my faves. Grow is just the right amount of sweet and the perfect balance of nutty. It is the perfect juice for a mid-week breakfast on the run, a late weekend morning lazing about in bed or even a little sweet treat for after dinner.

Glow – valencia oranges, carrots, lime, turmeric, ginger

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This little number is all about healthy glowing skin and is my pick of the summer range. Glow is sweet, bitter and a little bit spicy all at the same time. I can see myself starting every day with a little pick me up in the form of this juice.

Energise – rockmelon, beetroot, cucumber, zucchini

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Energise is my new workout friend. This dark purple juice is rich and earthy, but still surprisingly light and refreshing. I could easily smash one of these before a sweaty summer gym sesh or sip it slowly by the pool after an early morning run.

Elevate – tomato, watermelon, strawberry

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Elevate is a juice that just screams health. It is both sweet and savoury at the same time, with an unusual but yet completely addictive flavour. I drank the entire juice in about 5 seconds flat and found myself slurping an empty bottle in the hope a little extra might appear.

Optimise – filtered water, pineapple, lemon, ginger, cayenne pepper

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Just like the bright yellow colour suggests, this juice is light, refreshing and oh so zesty. It starts off sweet and ends with a real kick in the tastebuds. Optimise is the perfect anytime, anywhere juice.

Detox – rockmelon, cucumber, zucchini, celery, romaine, parsley

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If health had a taste, this juice would be it. Detox is a dark green juice that will make your insides smile. The rockmelon gives it just the right amount of sweet, taking the edge off all those healthy greens and making it taste real good.

Hydrate – honeydew melon, cucumber, zucchini, celery

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With a hint of sweetness, Hydrate is light, refreshing and super tasty. It’s thirst quenching goodness made it the ultimate partner for an afternoon walk with my dog, Leo. We stopped for a few cuddles along the way, but Leo seemed way more interested in the delicious juice I was slurping down.

The Fix juice range is available for purchase online, as well as in selected dispensaries around town. Keep an eye out for their new shopfront opening soon in Fyshwick and just get your mouth around their juice. It is seriously good.

– Bec x

Note: The juice in this post was provided by the Fix.

The Pigeon House Mountain Walking Trail

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Happy New Year! I hope your holiday season was as chill as mine and, unlike me, you’ve managed to come to terms with the fact that it’s almost mid-way through January in the year 2015.

How did you finish off the year that was 2014? I spent a blissful last few days of the year lazing in the sun at the South Coast with family and friends. It was in a post-Christmas we-ate-too-much haze we decided to walk Pigeon House Mountain (about 30 minutes drive from Milton on the South Coast). It’s a good walk, hard but not too hard, about 5km in total and pretty steep in parts. It took us 3 hours and more than a few litres of water.

The day we went was hot and sunny, giving us the best conditions for the 360 degree views at the top. I love the feeling of getting to the top of a mountain. I don’t even mind that my legs are hurting or that I’m sweating so much that all my hair is sticking to my forehead. I just love being up so high that it’s just me and the clouds casting shadows on the treetops below.

We finished our day with a perfect late lunch at Pilgrims Vegetarian Cafe in Milton. This is my favourite place to eat on the South Coast – they make the best burgers I have ever consumed and have a killer juice menu too.

It’s a new year and I don’t normally make resolutions, but if I was to start, my two resolutions would be to climb more mountains and eat more burgers from Pilgrims.

– Bec x

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Opening Night at the James Turrell: A Retrospective

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Photo: nga.gov.au

Last Friday night, Matt and I put on our fancy clothes and ventured out to the National Gallery of Australia for the opening night of James Turrell: A Retrospective – an exhibition where light is the medium and your mind is the playground.

I always love the NGA’s summer exhibitions, but this one is something special. Mesmerising. Playful. Moving. Turrell has a way of making light and colour touch all of your emotions at the same time.

The opening event itself was pink-themed happiness wrapped up into one evening and served to us on a platter alongside trendy slider burgers, tiny choc-top ice-creams and limitless pink cocktails. In all of which, Matt and I were more than happy to indulge.

The exhibition, however, was our main indulgence. In an almost trance-like state, we found ourselves moving through the exhibition and searching for the source of light in every piece – getting excited when we discovered how it worked and watching on as others discovered what we already had, united in our common awe of Turrell’s intricacies.

With our little white booties on, we waited patiently for our turn to walk up the stairs and venture inside one of Turrell’s works – entering into an abyss of seemingly endless colour. I could spend hours inside the Ganzfeld, watching as the colours change and blend into one another.

Words and photos just don’t cut it. My advice – discover Turrell’s magic for yourself.

The exhibition, James Turrell: A Retrospective, is open until June 8 2015.

– Bec x

Note: We scored tickets to this event thanks to Threesides Marketing.

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Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House

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As the weather warms up and the nights get longer, there is no better way to welcome the weekend than with a few sneaky drinks on a Friday evening. I love nothing more than to leave work early on that last day of the working week and kick it al-fresco style with a drink in hand and some friends in tow.

Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House kicks off at 4.30pm every Friday during the warmer months. With live music, delicious cocktails and $5 beers (or wine if that’s your thing), the House of Reps courtyard is the perfect way to relax into your weekend.

Canberra Cafe: Stand By Me, Lyons

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Steve and I have been a little silent on the local cafe front in recent months, but last weekend we made time for some quality brother-sister brunching with a little visit to a pretty new place tucked away in the quiet suburb of Lyons.

Stand By Me opened up earlier in the year and has been getting some good (and well-deserved) hype. It was our first time and we were impressed. I love their fun and quirky seasonal menu the most. I had some kind of “poached eggs, avocado on toast” magic combination and it was delicious. Steve enjoyed his burger too, but he was most impressed with their coffee. He’s not normally a coffee kind of guy, but he was ordering a second soy cap along with me.

The staff are friendly and the place is super cute. We ate al fresco-style out the front, but inside also has a cute hipster vibe. It’s a place that is equally as perfect for a chai latte on a rainy day, as it is for a milkshake in the middle of summer. Stand by Me is located at 1 Lyons Place in Lyons. We will definitely be going back.

– Bec x

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Human Brochure: Cycling Canberra’s Centenary Trail

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Earlier in the year I was selected as one of the 101 Canberra locals taking part in Visit Canberra‘s Human Brochure campaign. Over the last few months I have spent my weekends “researching”, better known as “eating and drinking my way around town”, as well as attending special after-hours events organised by the fantastic Visit Canberra team and a selection of the amazing local businesses and attractions we have here in Canberra.

The campaign culminated in a big weekend in early November. My interstate guests, Elspeth and Lauren, flew in from Adelaide on the Friday night and my local guest, Matt (of course), was already here. We were ready to spend the weekend exploring Canberra. It started with our VIP event early on the Saturday morning.

But first, a Saturday that starts before 9am, is a Saturday that starts with coffee. Ours started courtesy of my favourite cafe in all the land, Lava, with takeaway coffees all-round (except for Matt, he’s a chai latte kind of guy).

It was then on to our guided mountain biking tour with Paralympian, and one of Australia’s most successful athletes, Michael Milton, along part of Canberra’s newly-opened Centenary Trail. It was a great ride, giving us fantastic views over Canberra, a bit of a thrill on the downhill and permission to spend the rest of the weekend eating our way around town, guilt-free.

A big thank you to Visit Canberra, Michael Milton and his tour company BigFoot Adventures for this incredible experience – I am definitely inspired to get out and explore more of Canberra from atop a mountain bike.

– Bec x

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Human Brochure

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