Monday, 31 July 2017

July Goals: How I Went
1. Enjoy my holiday.
Our holiday was throughly enjoyed. I relaxed so much, I slept better than ever, and I even let myself do things like watch TV and write in my journal, which was amazing. It was so good to have time specifically carved out just for relaxing. 

We had our meals taken care of since we ate out so much, we'd come back to a freshly made bed and fresh towels and bath robes, and we were able to see what it's like to live with ducted heating. It was such a wonderful few days, and I'm so excited for our next holiday together!

2. Quit the gym.

Done! Daniel and I were both hoping to quit without any confrontation, so he came up with the idea to do it over email, and it worked! Such a weight off my shoulders.

3. Donate a bag of belongings to a charity store.
I ended up donating two bags of belongings! I even gave away some books and purses 😱  I also donated a mannequin head that I got to practice hairstyles on back when I was studying specialist make-up services. I definitely could have sold that as it wasn't cheap, but I really want someone to discover it for a great price and put it to good use. 

4. Organise my containers and lids.
Nooooope. Just didn't happen. Oh well!

5. Spend more time off the computer.
I'm not going to give myself this one either. I did well at the beginning of the month since we were away, and then we celebrated Daniel's birthday when we got back, so we were out of the house a lot. We had some movie and mini golf dates here and there as well, but I am just realising now that I watched the first three seasons of Gilmore Girls in about two weeks, so... I'm going to say no.


3/5. I feel like this is a number I can be happy with. Anything less wouldn't be very good, and anything more would make me really happy, but 3/5 I am content with - still going to aim for 5 next month, though!

August Goals
1. Stop biting my nails.
I am pretty much setting myself up for failure on this one. I go through phases when I'm really good at it, then really bad, and at the moment I'm in a really bad phase of biting my nails a lot. I will try my best not to bite them this month, but I'm not promising any miracles!

2. Comment on more blog posts + branch out to new bloggers.

I have suddenly become really shy when it comes to commenting on people's blogs! I just can't think of anything worthwhile to say, and that's not good. Commenting on other posts is how you create friendships and get your name out there. I always get an increase in traffic when I regularly comment on other posts, so I'm going to try and comment on a lot more this month!

3. Work on my Instagram game.
Reaching out to people and leaving comments on photos is such a great way to get your name out there and establish friendships, plus it feels great to let someone know how much you admire something they posted. I also want to work on making my photos cleaner and crisper - particularly the ones about my blog posts, as I usually take them directly from the blog post and they end up squished, which I hate!

4. Use Twitter more.

I've really dropped the ball on using Twitter. Much like the commenting on blog posts problem, I just feel like I don't have anything useful to say. I want to do more than just link my blog posts - although I need to do that more as well - but I never know what to tweet about. Either way, I'll still try my best to increase the amount of tweets I post this month! 

5. Eat healthier.
I am a huge fan of sweets, and that's never going to change - especially now that I'm so into baking - but I could definitely make some dietary changes when it comes to what I eat day-to-day. I want to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into my diet, and cut down on the fried foods that I consume, especially from work. Wish me luck!


How did you go with your last month's goals? Any tips on how to get all of your goals achieved? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 28 July 2017

Happy Hamburger Day!

Okay, so much like Donut Day, there is some dispute about when Hamburger Day actual is. Days of the Year website credits May 28th as being Hamburger Day, whereas Foodimentary says it is July 28th

I read both websites and often base posts around the holidays that they have on their calendars, but in this instance I decided to follow Foodimentary's date as he is the person who makes up most of the food holidays.

Of course, you should all know by now that just because it's Hamburger Day does not mean I am going to make actual hamburgers. Just like I didn't technically make donuts on Donut Day, or Ice Cream for Ice Cream Month, I found a way to celebrate this novelty holiday in my own way - by making hamburger shaped treats!

This extensive recipe by Bakerella features cupcakes, brownies and cookies - not to mention coconut flakes, fondant, and royal icing! This certainly was an all-day feat, but I loved every minute of it. I made vanilla cupcakes from scratch for the second time, and I made brownies from scratch for the first time using this recipe!

Bakerella used green icing for her lettuce, but suggested using coconut if you wanted a more realistic lettuce look. I happened to have some coconut leftover from my Sushi Cupcakes, so I put a handful or so of it into a bowl, and slowly mixed in some green food dye. I love how it turned out!

I used a regular royal icing recipe for the tomato sauce which worked really well, and I happened to have some yellow fondant on hand so I rolled that flat and cut little squares out of it for the cheese. It all looked so realistic, I was so happy! I used actual sesame seeds for the tops of the cupcakes, which didn't affect the taste at all, so that was a bonus.

Next up was the sugar cookie fries! I hadn't made sugar cookies since February, but I could still remember how much I do not like working with dough, so I was dreading this part. Luckily for me, everything worked a whole lot better this time around! My trusty stand mixer might have had something to do with that, but I also knew what to expect this time around, which definitely helped.

I feel the need to add that I have an awful stove and oven. The stove only has one setting: extremely hot. It doesn't matter what we set it to, nearly everything we make ends up burning. 

The oven is no better. It takes a stupidly long time to heat up, and anything you put on the bottom tray ends up burning before the things on the top tray have even finished cooking - so the cookies took way longer than they should have.

I put two trays in at first, but the bottom ones burnt completely black in 8 minutes, so I decided to just use the top tray. This meant doing lots of batches, but they came out properly cooked and not completely black, so it was worth the hassle. 

I can't believe how much they ended up looking like fries! They were delicious, too. So soft and sweet - and when I drizzled the leftover royal icing onto them, they looked like a bowl of fries with sauce! My tastebuds were so confused 😂

As I've mentioned before, I love trying to recreate the masterpieces that other bakers have invented. I would love to come up with something as creative and original as these Hamburger Cupcakes, and hopefully one day I will, but for the moment I'm having fun testing out new recipes I find online. 

I am so, so happy with how these turned out. Even with my awful oven, all the components of this recipe came out pretty good, and resulted in a great end product that I enjoyed far too much 🙊 

I hope you all have a great Hamburger Day however you spend it, and let me know if there's any upcoming food-related holidays that you want me to do a post on!

Until next time,

Indya xx
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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

I am a huge fan of sauces and dressings. I will eat a bowl of wedges just so I can have sour cream with them, or I'll make a batch of chips because I got an extra sweet n' sour sauce from work that I want to eat. I would happily eat a bowl of rice every single night, as long as I had a range of sauces to go on top (butter chicken, satay chicken, etc). Sauces change everything

Maple syrup technically isn't a sauce, but it's close enough, and it's the reason I have pancakes at all. Pancakes certainly aren't mind-blowing treats on their own, but paired with maple syrup, they turn into one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. 


Anyway, when I was searching the fridge for inspiration for what flavour to add into my next hot chocolate, the maple syrup caught my eye. I don't get to have it very often because I don't particularly like making pancakes (for me, if I can't just throw it into a bowl, microwave or toaster, I won't eat it), so this was an extra special treat for me.

I made my usual hot chocolate like I always do, except this time I added some maple syrup along with the drinking chocolate - and it was really good! I may be biased because I love maple syrup, but I really did enjoy this flavour.

Like most of the flavours that I have tried so far, this one didn't completely blow me away, but it was still a nice, subtle flavour that made all the difference. It honestly felt like it was the morning of my birthday and I was having pancakes for breakfast - it made me nostalgic for a memory I don't even have!


I still really want pancakes, though. I love them with maple syrup, but I also enjoy Vegemite and butter on them, as well as lemon and sugar! They were such staple pancake toppings for me as a child, but now I'm thinking that they may not be that common in other households... 

What do you usually put on your pancakes? Do you make them super healthy with lots of chopped fruit, or just smother them in maple syrup like I usually do? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,
Indya xx
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Monday, 24 July 2017

I am always so saddened by how many people are unhappy with their lives. I'm saddened because I know what it's like as I was once in that place, and I'm saddened that I don't know what I can do to help them. I do think there are ways to help them, though. 

For years, I never thought I'd ever be as happy as I am now - but I am. I am living it right now. I had to go through a lot of emotionally scarring things to get to where I am, but I did it, and if a scared little girl like me can get through things like an abusive relationship and living with a violent mother, anyone can.

I do want to mention that what I went through was very circumstantial. I was "lucky" to have a boyfriend that wasn't quite abusive enough that I felt scared to leave him, but more so that I would have no one left if I did. At the time my mother turned her violence towards me, I was lucky enough to have a partner who supported and protected me. 

Not everyone has those opportunities. Not everyone is going through what I went through. Every single person and circumstance is different and I am not here to tell you that things like thinking about flowers is suddenly going to fix all your problems, because it won't.


However, the problems that I struggled with the most were internal; I despised myself and most of the things around me. I had barely any happiness in my life, but slowly I made changes that eventually made me into who I am today. 

In this post, I am going to share those changes on the off-chance that it could benefit someone else. If there's any hope of me helping someone bring happiness into their life, I am going to give it a try. At the very least, this post might bring someone even a sliver of hope that one day they'll get out of the rut they're currently in.


I eliminated the things I didn't like.

This was one of the greatest things I have ever done. The biggest things I removed from my life were my abusive boyfriend and mother. The former happened in 2013, and the latter in 2016, so my current level of happiness is a long time coming. Even after they were out of my life, though, I realised that I was still hanging onto so much stuff that I didn't need or even want, so I simply let it go. 

At the risk of sounding like an egotistical child, my life motto is now 'I do what I want'. If you think about it, within reason, there's not much in life that I have to do, so why do things that don't bring me happiness? Of course, there are plenty of instances where you should put others before you whether it makes you happy or not, and I still do that. My number one goal in life is to be a good person with good intentions, and I honestly do believe that I am.

Life won't be much fun unless you treat yourself the way you treat your loved ones: by doing things that bring happiness. For example, I quit drinking over a year ago, and it's one of the best things I've done. I didn't actually intend to it at first, it just so happened that a lot of time had passed since I last drank, and in that time I realised how much I didn't enjoy it. Even now, I don't miss it at all. Simple decisions like that, ridding my life of things that I didn't want or need, have made all the difference in the long run.

I embraced my quirks.

I don't know what 'normal' is, but I do know that no one has ever considered me to be the definition of it. I'm not sure what I did when I was younger and was forced to move schools multiple times because people just did not like me, but the things that make people not like me now that I'm older, are the things that I love most about myself.

I'm a handful; I know that. At work I am very peppy and cheerful and not everyone is like that, or enjoys being around people who are like that. I have actually had customers ask me, quite begrudgingly, what on Earth I am so happy about, but I never let that get me down. When I think back to who I was five years ago: a miserable, scared girl who didn't want to live to see another day, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have found happiness now. 

I embrace the fact that I'm often so giddy I seem like a child. I embrace the fact that a cute animal or a nice comment can make me so happy I start crying. I embrace the fact that many of my interests are seen quite odd for a 20-year-old girl to have (my devotion to Sailor Moon and Pokémon, for example). 

It was a lot easier than I thought it would be to stop caring about what people think about my hobbies and interests. I still have plenty of insecurities that bring me down, but the fact that I like watching cartoons and filling every inch of my house with something pink and/or in the shape of a dessert is not something that makes me feel weird anymore, just more original.

I started saying "no".

I have read many blog posts dedicated to the wonder of saying no, and now I understand why. 'No' is one of my best friends. It rids my life of things that I don't want, and gets me out of situations that would have made me uncomfortable. Since I started saying no, I have had a lot more time to myself, and have learnt about the things I want to say yes to.

Everyone should agree that it's perfectly acceptable to say no to any situation that involves something you know you don't like or will make you uncomfortable, right? Don't you agree that that's a reasonable statement? Well, for me, that means saying no to going out with friends more often. 

It sounds selfish, but most people enjoy going out drinking at bars near the city, and I do not. Leaving the house at all makes me anxious, but especially at night. I don't enjoy being around people who are drinking, and I don't want to spend $6 on a glass of Coke when I have a full bottle I could drink at home. Therefore, I stay home - which has had an amazing effect on me: I like being at home now. I used to feel really down when I was at home, and would try to think of absolutely any reason to go out, but now I am perfectly content being at home.

That is a much bigger deal than it seems: to have found contentment within myself and how I spend my time alone is amazing. I no longer look for happiness in other people because I have it within myselfIt also makes me appreciate my close friends even more, because I no longer feel like I have to cling to people to find happiness, and I can just enjoy the time we spend together instead.


Giving myself time to figure out what I like and dislike has completely changed my life for the better. Now that I am able to spend my days focusing on the things that I love the most (like this blog, which is a huge source of my happiness!), I am always filled with contentment and appreciation for life. I know that I am so blessed to be who I am, living the life that I am, and I am never going to take it for granted.

Until next time,
Indya xx
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Friday, 21 July 2017

This post contains affiliate links. For more information on what this means, visit my disclaimer.

You guys have NO idea how happy I am that it is Ice Cream Month! It's certainly no secret that I love sweets. One of my favourite things to do is fill my house with things shaped like sweets, and things shaped like ice cream are certainly no exception!

I have been dying to share my adorable ice cream ornaments for ages now, but I made myself wait until this month because I knew that everyone would be joining in on the fun for Ice Cream Month! Okay, okay, I have shared a few pieces over on my Instagram, but I just couldn't help myself. I own so much cute stuff!

Most of these pieces are secondhand because I am the Thrift Shop Queen (my actual title, I swear), but I've seen most of the items I own on eBay as well - albeit, at a higher price.


The first piece that I can recall purchasing is the pink ice cream cookie jar. I actually bought it to go with my cookie jar collection - which I'm sure I'll share one day - and I guess it sparked an ice cream decor collection as well... Collecting is a slippery slope, guys. Be careful.

The most recent piece that I have added to this collection is the second, brown ice cream cookie jar. I found both of them at Savers, as well as most of my other cookie jars.

Cups and mugs are things that I've collected for years. I shared my collection in October last year, but I have a lot more now, so I'll most likely do an updated collection post in the future. The patch is from the wonderfully talented, everything-I-want-to-be-in-life Elorasaurus. I also have her doughnut patch and sprinkle patch, as well as her Sailor Moon prints and pins.

It seems like everyone and their mum owns a version of the ice cream night light pictured below. I was super happy when I found mine at Savers for a lot cheaper than it is online. I don't actually use it at all, but I didn't use the lamp that was there before it either.

This gorgeous ice cream money box was another Savers find, and is also part of my money box collection - which is a collection I've had for most of my life, same with bags and purses. It is currently empty as I'm using a cupcake-shaped money box instead (just wait until I share my cake/cupcake home decor collection! Now THAT is going to be a long post!),
 but I bet I'd save a lot of money if I ever filled this guy up!


My love for novelty crossbody bags has grown rapidly - as has my collection since I shared it back in December - and my ice cream one is definitely one of my favourites. I bought it a few months ago when I went a little crazy on eBay and ordered four crossbody bags, all shaped like a different food. There's still so many more that I want to pick up as well! 

My smallest ice cream shaped items are my Kate Spade phone case, an ice cream straw (both pictured below), and my adorable ice cream ring box, pictured above. The phone case was a thrift shop find, so therefore it may not be real, but it's still super cute.

I bought the ring box from eBay after I was sick of the ugly earring box I was using to put my nose ring in when I went to work. This one makes me smile every time I look at it! 

I know how "in" minimalistic lifestyles are right now, but I absolutely love surrounding myself with cute things that never fail to cheer me up. It's difficult to be sad when I'm surrounded by things that make me happy.


How is your Ice Cream Month so far? If you have any ice cream-related stories and/or links that you want to share with me, comment them below! I want to milk this novelty holiday for everything it has 😋

Until next time,

Indya xx

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Hey! Remember two weeks ago when I said I wasn't going to do a coffee flavoured hot chocolate? Well, it turns out I lied, because here it is! I was just too intrigued and had to try it. 

Well, that, and I decided to re-watch Gilmore Girls - and everyone knows how coffee obsessed those two girls are! You can read about all the pain the series is causing me all over again on my Twitter, but there will definitely be spoilers, so read at your own risk!

Anyway, when Daniel and I were doing our weekly shop, I caved and bought some coffee. I know nothing about coffee, so naturally I bought the cheapest stuff I could find. I know that will make most all coffee drinks shudder, but I'm just not invested in the drink enough to actually learn what constitutes a "good coffee".

Because I'm weak and proud of it, I need a lot of sugar in my coffee to counteract the bitterness of it. I just can't get on board unless it's a really sweet coffee. I'm getting better at putting less sugar in my tea, and just experiencing how it tastes (almost) on its own, but I don't think I'll ever be able to do that with coffee.

I really can't give you any accurate measurements to this drink as I kept adding to it until it tasted right, but I can tell you that I put less coffee in it than chocolate drinking powder, and it was still the strongest flavour by far.

At first I put one teaspoon of coffee in with two teaspoons of chocolate drinking powder and one teaspoon of sugar, and it was awful. So bitter, and I couldn't even taste the chocolate! I added another, much fuller, teaspoon of chocolate drinking powder (if you've been paying attention you'll know I usually use tablespoons for the chocolate, but they were dirty and I was lazy!) and the result was much better. 

It was basically a cup of coffee with a slight taste of chocolate to it - much like the chai tea version I tried - but it was really good. The two flavours complimented each other well, and the chocolate, although mild, definitely helped ease me into the coffee flavour.

I still don't get the coffee craze though. I love the smell of it, and with the right amount of sugar it can taste perfectly fine, but I never feel the effects of the caffeine. My intense intake of Coca Cola may have something to do with that, but I don't think the caffeine in that really affects me either. Perhaps I have so much now I've become immune to it. Who knows.

If coffee is just a little too bitter for you, but adding heaps of sugar just isn't your thing, I suggest trying it with some chocolate in it! It makes it sweeter whilst also adding another flavour that helps soften the bitterness of coffee. Or, you could do some research and find a better coffee, as I have heard that the fancier/more expensive the coffee is, the nicer is tastes. I am yet to test that theory myself though!


Are you coffee or a tea drinker? Is there a particular reason you prefer one over the other? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,
Indya xx
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Monday, 17 July 2017

As promised, here is part two of our holiday! The whole reason we went away was to go to the snow. We both hadn't been since we were very young and could hardly remember it at all. We chose Lake Mountain as it was the closest snow to us, and I had heard good things about it from other people.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that I am super scared of everything, so of course I didn't want us to drive up the mountain ourselves as icy roads are very dangerous, plus you need to put chains on your tires, etc. It's just too much hassle and worry, and we were going away so we could relax and enjoy ourselves, so we caught a bus up there instead.

The bus stop was just across the road from where we were staying. We got on at 10:30am and arrived at Lake Mountain by 11am. The bus was $42 per person, but that includes entry into Lake Mountain as well. There was only one other couple on the bus so it was a nice, quiet drive up there.

We had hired a toboggan from a store in Marysville as I'd read that the line to hire them at Lake Mountain was often extremely long. It was only $10 for the whole day, and they let you pick what colour you want! I chose pink, of course.

The first thing I did once we arrived was take photos, naturally. I had my digital camera with me, a waterproof disposable camera (as it had been years since I'd used one), and my phone. I took most of the photos on the waterproof camera, but I didn't use all the film so I am yet to get them developed.

We had wanted to try out skiing or snowboarding, but there wasn't enough snow when we were there so those things were closed, but we were still able to go tobogganing. It was honestly terrifying and I shrieked every time I went down. I was so nervous about accidentally hitting a child or something! I saw quite a few people completely wipe out others. 

The first time Daniel went down the hill he flipped over before he got to the end! I couldn't help but laugh. He got better as the day went on though, and ended up going down a bigger hill that we discovered later on. That particular hill was too scary for me, so luckily there was a later starting point for those who didn't want to go down such a big hill (in other words, it was for kids...) 😋

Whilst tobogganing was fun, walking back up the hill once you'd slid down was not. In fact, it was exhausting - especially once we went over to the steeper hill. We were both completely wrecked afterwards.

Once we were too tired to keep walking back up the hills, we went over to the Snow Play area and built a snowman - which is so much harder than it seems! We just couldn't get the snow to stick together, but everyone else around us could! I ended up taking a photo of another family's snowman because I didn't think we'd be able to make our own, but Daniel persisted. 

He made a pretty solid head after a while, so I crafted a very wonky body on top of our toboggan, and then we found some rocks and a carrot (there were heaps around, I'm assuming they give them out or something) and gave him some eyes and a nose. I was quite proud of our work. It really did take us a long time 😂

Before we left we visited the gift shop, since I am exactly the kind of person that those types of shops are catered towards. I'm such a sucker for souvenirs. I have a shot glass from the Eureka Skydeck, a mug and whisk from the Chocolaterie, a pressed coin from the Melbourne Zoo, and lots more. I'm also a hoarder of receipts and pamphlets that represent an adventure.

There were so many adorable things to choose from in the gift shop! I'm a sucker for anything with a snowman or penguin on it, and they were everywhere. Pen holders, snowglobes, shot glasses, pen toppers, soft toys... it was all too much! At first I was learning towards a shot glass since I have the Eureka Skydeck one, and a set of Sailor Moon ones too, but then I realised it was pretty useless since I don't even drink.

I was then thinking about getting a pen holder because they were pyramid shaped and looked pretty cool, but I had just bought a donut pen holder before we left, so that seemed pretty pointless too. 

In the end we decided on a snowglobe because I like snowglobes (as you will see at Christmastime), it's pink, and it has two adorable snowmen making their own snowman! It was Daniel's favourite of the bunch too, and it goes with all my pink Christmas stuff as well, which I'm happy about 😊

We had planned to go to the snow two days in a row, but the weather forecast for the next day said there was an 80-90% chance of rain, and we didn't want to be stuck there until 3pm with nothing to do, so we decided to stay in Marysville and visit the Steavenson Falls instead.

Visiting the waterfalls was quite an adventure of its own! I'd never hiked before, and I certainly wasn't prepared to do it that day, but at least I got a blog post out of it 😉  which will be coming soon!


Have you ever been to the snow? Do you enjoy skiing and/or snowboarding? I'm very nervous to try them, but I think I'll give them a go next year!

Until next time,
Indya xx
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Friday, 14 July 2017

Happy Ice Cream Month! 

The fact that Candy Month and Ice Cream Month are one after the other really shows what a wonderful world we live in, doesn't it? I found this recipe for Ice Cream Cake Pops on Pinterest months ago and have been dying to give them a try, but I managed to wait until the perfect time - which is now!

As fun as it was to come up with my first original recipe, I love the feeling of accomplishment when I manage to recreate other recipes that I find on the internet. 

You will see in the original post that it says to fill the cone with ganache, but I thought that might cause the cone to soften - or even that the ganache might spill out of the end - so I skipped that step. This became a problem when it came to putting my cake pop on top of the cone, as it fell right in, so I filled with the cone with leftover cake to act as a stand for the cake pop.

The worst part about this recipe is definitely crumbing the cake, and then moulding it into sphere shapes. Crushing up cake in your hands - then mixing ganache into it and attempting to roll it into a ball - is very messy. I tried to use a tablespoon scoop as suggested, but that only made half-sphere shapes.

Of course, after I had finished this step, I realised how much easier it would have been to just make cake pops in my cake pop tin. Seriously, why didn't I think of that? I've been dying to use it! Granted, it wouldn't have had ganache in it, which is something I love, but it would have been so much easier and nowhere near as messy!

For the pink chocolate and brown chocolate decoration, I simply used chocolate melts in the microwave. I'm not someone who can stomach a lot of chocolate at once so I did wonder if it would have been better to simply cover these in icing, and then drizzle some Ice Magic on top of that, but I've got to admit, they do taste delicious!

I think these guys are just too cute, honestly. I've said this a hundred times by now, but gosh I love things shaped like other things! These babies really do look like mini ice creams. I love it! 

Also, for the cones, I was lucky enough to find mini waffle cones at the supermarket - meaning I could avoid having to cut up regular sized ones - but I'm not sure how easy they are to find around for everyone else. I just thought cutting up regular sized waffle cones would make them crumble, and I wanted to avoid that!


I know we're halfway through the month already, but it's only just starting to feel like Ice Cream Month now that I'm here writing this post and snacking on one of these delicious little treats! 

Have you been doing anything to celebrate Ice Cream Month? Is there a certain ice cream dessert or treat that you're particularly fond of? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,
Indya xx