For arrghigiveup who wanted a fic based on this tweet.

Sid holds out his jersey in offer and Ovi narrows his eyes at him thoughtfully for a moment. Around them, the crew is eyeing them curiously as they go about their business.

Sidney grinds his heel against the floor to keep from shifting restlessly. It seems like time is frozen it goes by so slowly; he feels his arm shaking, is just about to let it drop along with his jersey when Ovi reaches out and plucks it out of his hand.

“You sign it too? Will be worth lots.” He winks at Sid, that gap-toothed grin of his firmly in place.

Sidney remembers that grin from games played – after a hit against the boards or just before a face off. He’s always thought it cocky and arrogant, and it is, but Ovi looks fond too, as if Sid amuses him, as if he’s someone Ovi feels affectionate about.

Which is weird, because Sid and Ovi are not friends, nor are they rivals for all the media tries to make them so.

In fact, they don’t really see much of each other outside of games.

Now though, Ovi pulls off his own jersey, snags a pen from a passing intern, and scrawls out his signature on top of the white lettering on the back. His grin widens.

“Here,” he says. “Put on. Have to take picture and send to Zhenya. He’ll be very jealous.”

Sidney blinks at him. He does not know who this Zhenya person is or why he’ll be jealous, but it seems rude to decline, so Sid puts on the jersey, wrinkling his nose a little at how big it is, and lets Ovi move him into different poses as he snaps pictures with his phone.

At some point, Sid’s jersey ends up on Ovi, and their respective PR representatives look ready to burst from glee as they hunt down the real photographer and make them pose together in their borrowed jerseys.

“PR gold,” one of them says, the other nodding enthusiastically in the background.

Sidney eyes them warily.

It takes nearly another hour before they’re done and Sid and his people are on a bus back to the airport. He’s exhausted, slanted over in his seat with his head resting against the window when his phone buzzes in his pocket.

He frowns, is barely awake as he checks his phone for a new message. It’s from Ovi; Sid doesn’t even know how Ovi got his number.

Photoshoot take long time, but had fun today. I send pics to Zhenya. He’s such big fan! Will be so jealous!

Sid can practically hear Ovi’s mad cackle over the last bit, and he wonders again who this Zhenya person is and why Ovi keeps talking about him as if Sid knows him too.

(It will take him a few years before he understands, and when he does, it’s because he stumbles over a couple of old printed pictures in a drawer in Geno’s house. It’s Sid, looking young and baby faced. He’s wearing an Ovechkin jersey of all things, and next to him is the man himself, grinning wide and smug at the camera.

“Sid? You find the scissors?” Geno asks as he walks into the room. He stops up short when Sidney looks up at him with wide eyes, holding out the picture in his hand wordlessly.

“Oh,” Geno says.

“Where- where did you get these? I barely even remember it.”

Geno blushes and rubs at the back of his neck sheepishly. “Sanja give. He send to me when I’m still in Russia. Wanted to make me jealous.”

Something prickles at the back of Sid’s mind. “You are Zhenya? Ovi’s friend? But why would you be jealous?” he asks when Geno nods.

And well, that turns out to be another conversation entirely.)


Taking Better Care Of Yourself - Melbourne Edition

As regular readers of  ‘Young Blood Travel’ would know, I’ve recently started taking better care of myself.

Well, trying to.

Gone are the slabs of Coke cans in the fridge, the multiple McDonald’s drive-through trips and complete lack of any kind of exercise regime.

These days I’m at Pilates 5 days a week, chowing down on whole meal salad wraps and chugging on OVI to keep me hydrated.

The change in my diet and lifestyle has also meant I am a much happier person. My anxiety is kept at bay, I don’t struggle so much to sleep and my body confidence is at an all time high.

The feedback on my recent blog (where I touched on how pilates and exercise in general has helped monumentally with my anxiety) was overwhelming and so, so lovely. A lot of you guys said I had inspired you to give working out a try, which is all I ever wanted to do; help those suffering from depression to anxiety. Even just a little bit.

In fact, the comments and Tweets were SO beautiful and encouraging, it sparked me to investigate other little things we could be doing to take better care of ourselves.

I’ve discovered three beauties; a café that deals in happiness, a natural inspired nail salon and a boutique skin clinic that that keeps your face looking as young as you feel.

It’s worth noting the below are all Melbourne based as that’s where I’m living at the moment, however I’m sure there are Sydney/Adelaide/New York/Paris alternatives.

Give it a Google! Or better yet, open up your own!

Be inspired to seek out the healthy, happy you.

Serotonin Eatery; 52 Madden Grove, Burnley (Richmond)

Any place that has “Happiness is a drug and we want to be your dealer!” as their slogan has my vote from the get go.

In fact, I dare you to walk into this light and bright cafe, be greeted by the owner Emily’s ginormous smile (on a pint sized body), and NOT crack one yourself. It’s near impossible.

Before you even hear Emily’s ethos or the science behind the ‘Serotonin Eatery’, you’re blown away by the interiors. The colour scheme of white, grey, yellow and gold is instantly soothing and the Japanese matting and swing seats make it tricky to decide where to park your butt first.

The Eatery has some pretty big goals: they aim to make their customers happy with foods that promote the release of serotonin (a brain chemical that regulates mood, sleep pattern, appetite just to name a few).

As Emily herself puts it, “Every dish is designed to be a rainbow!” which is ‘Happy Emily Speak’ for: by including all the colours of the rainbow in each dish, Serotonin Eatery are ALSO making sure us Aussies are increasing our daily intake of fruits and veggies (which apparently only 6% are meeting.)

In terms of what to order- it’s all good. No, but seriously. And if you’re looking for a ‘healthy option’- they all are. Which sucks if you’re hungover and dying for some greasy, fried goodness but is fan-fucking-tastic if you’ve just finished a run and are after a stack of ‘Positive Pancakes’ made from organic banana flour and served with delicious (and healthy!) house-made banana ice cream!

Look, between the huge windows allowing for warm natural light, baby succulents, dog friendly courtyard, gold cutlery, comfy cushions and the option to take your meal in a picnic basket across the road for an impromptu picnic on a sunny day- Emily and the team at Serotonin Eatery bend over backwards to ensure everybody leaves with a smile.

I practically skipped out of there this morning. No joke.  Make sure you check it out and FAST, it’s gaining huge momentum with all the ‘Wellness Warriors’.

Missy Lui, Shop 1, 1161 High Street, Armadale

I’ve never been a fan of nail salons.

Apart from the fact that you usually feel like you are nothing but a number to the staff, who try to get you in and out as fast as possible, all the while shooting you stern looks when your ticklish foot wriggles even the slightest… theres the smell of nail polish, acetone and finally, that horrendous little purple light that’s designed to dry the nail polish.

That stupid thing gives me severe headaches and makes me feel nauseous- I can’t even look at it.

That being said, I LOVE having my nails painted. I take pride in picking bright and unusual colours and feel naked if they aren’t painted. I’d also never thought about the health of my nails, or what those products were doing to the poor little guys until I stumbled across Missy Lui.

Missy Lui came about after Peggy, the owner, noticed a need for Melbourne to have a sanctuary for people to enjoy the experience of getting beautiful and healthy natural nails.

Their range of nail and skin care products are free of the most harmful known toxins and they’ve made sure to get rid of all the heavy fumes, drills and contaminated nail files and buffers.

The interiors calm down the senses automatically. Clean lines, beach wood, comfy grey couches with chunky knitted foot-stools, moss-green throw rugs and vases full of native Australian arrangements make for a very relaxing environment.

Forget the ‘Top 40’ being played over and over again at your old nail salon, Missy Lui plays the kind of soothing tracks you’d hear during a massage, which acts as a peaceful background noise to your complimentary tea and iPad for all that social media stalking.

Make sure you try out their ‘Japanese Manicure’ which basically means your nails are polished with all natural beewax and buffered with Peal Mineral powder from P-Shine. It’s the shit and is SO good for those of us wanting to grow our nails.

To be frank- I’d come here for the hand/arm massages alone. I’ve never left a nail salon feeling like I’d just had a 60 minute full body massage but at Missy Lui, that’s exactly the kind of TLC experience you’re in for.

Victorian Dermal Group, 2/1 Princes St, Kew

I’ve always been pretty lucky with my skin (I inherited naturally blemish-free skin from my parents) however when the buggers DO decide to rear their ugly heads, it’s bad.

Realllllly bad.

It’s because of this that I have perhaps taken my good skin for granted and therefore never really looked after it properly.

Cleanser? Too hard.

Sunscreen? If I remember.

And I only moisturize daily because I can’t be bothered buying a primer so I figure I’m killing two birds with one stone. (I’m a Tomboy when it comes to this stuff… a lot of stuff actually.)

That being said, the amazing and brilliantly informed Derya at Vic Dermal Group has made me see the error of my ways as well as taking the time to open up my eyes to a few other ‘advanced cosmetic solutions’ that are not nearly as scary as they sound.

When Derya first suggested I get a chemical peel (or ‘clinical skin peel’) on my face, I was instantly terrified. I had flashbacks to that scene in ‘Sex And The City’ where Samantha gets a chemical peel and ends up with a horrific red raw, peeling face.

However, as Derya explained, clinical skin peels are the ultimate anti-ageing treatment designed to address concerns ranging from wrinkles, dullness, acne and congestion to sun damage, ageing and hyperpigmentation.

She also assured me that the Victorian Dermal Group uses clinical strength skin peels that vary in strengths- and that my skin and concerns would be assessed carefully before the strength was determined.

As I was a first timer, we’d be starting off slow and with a low-strength clinical peel.

This premium clinical grade peel is a complete rejuvenation treatment, superior to ordinary facial treatments. Basically it gently peels and decongests pores while hydrating the skin, leaving you with visible, long-term results.

The whole process took maybe an hour and apart from a slight burning/stinging sensation, wasn’t even uncomfortable let alone painful!

There’s also this really relaxing bit where Derya lathers your hot face up in cool, hydrating gel and you get to lie there and listen to Enya or something equally soothing.

In terms of the recovery period, Derya informed me that my face may be slightly red that day (it wasn’t really) and may feel dry over the next few days but by the end of the week, would feel amazing.

She was correct. I am super happy with the results and my skin feels incredible. As with most things, great skin takes time and patience. For best results, a series of peels is essential however even just the one-off will make you feel a million bucks.

Better still, she made sure I went home with a complete new skin care regime which, at week 2 of using it, I am completely obsessed with.

It’s the Aspect Dr Skincare ABC Kit and is basically the ‘ABC’ of anti-ageing using vitamins A, B and C for healthy, glowing skin.

There’s a few steps and they differ morning and night but they don’t take long and have made a noticeable difference in my skin.

I cannot recommend the delightful Derya enough AND lucky for you, the Victorian Dermal Group is currently giving away a FREE chemical peel on their Instagram so follow them at @vicdermalgroup for your chance to win!


During Friday’s All-Star Fantasy Draft, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin attempted to be picked last by claiming he needed the new car…

His heartwarming reason for wanting the NHL All-Star Game car was actually so the car could be donated to the NOVA Cool Cats Special Hockey program.

Ovechkin’s connection with the Cool Cats includes his friendship with Ann Schaub, a 10-year-old girl with Down Syndrome who went on a sushi dinner date with him back in September.

“It means a lot,” Ovechkin told NHL.com. “Honda connected with my agent and they just gave me a car, so I’m going to donate to [Cool Cats] and that sweet little girl.”

Ovechkin said he remained incredibly touched and moved by Schaub, who approached him to ask him on a date upon hearing he likes sushi, just like she does. “It’s just a sweet time, a good time, a cool time for me and for her,” Ovechkin said. “I’m pretty sure they’re going to use [the car] all the time. Obviously for them it’s going to be a great present from my side, from Honda’s side and from all the NHL’s side.”

Ovechkin’s quiet plan all along was to win the car Friday so he could donate it. He told nobody and was going to announce it if he was indeed one of the last two picks in the draft. He was picked third to last in the draft. The representatives from Honda were so intrigued by Ovechkin’s intense lobbying at the fantasy draft that they contacted his agent, David Abrutyn, to learn more about it. As soon as Honda heard about Ovechkin’s intentions, it decided to give Ovechkin the car.

Ovechkin was surprised by the gesture, and was glad he could help the organization. “It’s going to go to Ann and the [Cool Cats] organization. It’s all about having fun and making people happy.”