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Monday, 31 December 2012

Farewell, 2012.

Apart from working for a couple of hours this morning, I've tried to spend the last day of this year doing the things I love most... and eating my favourite things too.  I spent the afternoon at the beach reading before roasting some potatoes and indulging in VERY garlic-y garlic prawns.

The Moet and the chocolate strawberries have to wait until midnight.

After a busy lead up to Christmas, I've tried to unwind and reflect since.  New Year is always a time to reflect and it's full of possibilities and hopes for the future.

2012 was full of lows and highs.  Being so sick for a huge chunk of the year was very eye opening and humbling.  I'm never going to take an alarm clock for granted again and being able to function before 10am is a now a true blessing.  What doesn't kill you truly does make you stronger.

Here's to a 2013 without nightmares and stress.  To being humble and kind.  To loving those who love me.  To being healthy and wealthy and valuing that which is important in life.

May it be the best year yet for all of us.  Thanks for reading xxx

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Tree

We live across the road from a beautiful florist and despite being a grinch and hating the commercial aspect of Christmas, my husband got into the spirit of it and surprised me with a real Christmas tree.  Apparently these bad boys are slow to grow, so we will hang onto it for a few years and grow it and use it year in and year out.  Once you have a real Christmas tree, you can't go back to the plastic trees that's for sure.  

This month has utterly exhausted me and I'm looking forward to my parents arriving next week to fuss over me.  Sometimes it's fun to be spoilt like a child.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Beach babe

Utter summer inspiration.  Doutzen for Vogue UK January issue.

Fake it 'til you make it

With most of Australia winding down for holidays this coming week, I do hope you've all got some sort of plans to rest and relax and recharge for the new year.  I have a few more weeks to go, but that doesn't mean I'm not preparing my beach bag, suitcase and beauty case, especially with sun protection.

Living in Melbourne and being chained to a computer and desk, I am seriously packing in sunlight and vitamin D so when I do expose my skin to the sun I am even more careful not to burn it or cause it any unnecessary damage.

Here are my favourite summer sun protection products and fake tanners.  And best of all, most of them don't break the bank.

St Tropez Bronzing Mouuse - most people who have never used this baulk at the idea of rubbing in a foamy mousse, but this so fool proof.  The mousse is rich and leathery which makes it a breeze to apply and due to a dark hue, you can see exactly where you are applying it, which prevents any streaks.  The colour is very believable.  It also comes in a gradual tanner if you want something that lasts a few days longer.

Garnier BB cream - my favourite product year round.  Has SPF.  Gives a wonderful light coverage and colour and makes my skin glow.  I even notice that it improves skin tone over time.  What's not to love!

Nivea Ultra Beach Protect Spray 30+ - I love the convenience of the light, non greasy spray.  I can even spray it on myself in the hard to reach places if I'm alone.  No sunburn in sight with this one.

Reef Sun Tan Oil - to me, summer smells like Reef - oily and coconut-y.  I often apply this oil over the top of sunscreen.  And the 15 and 30 SPF products often do a great job at sun protection, too.

Garnier Body Summer Lotion - I discovered this a few weeks ago and am entirely obsessed.  It comes in 3 shades to suit all skin tones and leaves a great non yellow tan.  My legs have never looked better.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, I'm off to bake and finish decorating the tree (B surprised me with a real tree yesterday that we can grow over the years!)

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Rainy Saturday

Melbourne can't get the hang of a continued bunch of nice days.  Saturday morning rain is no fun, especially when you can't stay in bed all day.

Early breakfast today at my fave cafe and shopping. On a mission to decorate the tree and do some baking tomorrow.

Dress - ASOS pencil dress with wrap front (absolutely amazing and a few favourite!!)
Scarf -Witchery (old)
Bag - Alexander Wang Emile in suede

Friday, 14 December 2012

Gorgeous baby

This pretty girl has been hanging around my desk waiting for me to make a decision. Guilty feeling. Suede (not the most practical).

Bullet has been bitten.

Hello gorgeous girl.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Summer party looks

I am honestly banging my head against the wall in regards to my summer wardrobe.  I have two work Christmas parties. A myriad of family Christmas events.  A concert.  Two weddings.  And a baptismn.  On top of a two week holiday.  One thing is for sure, well two.  Fake tan will play a major part and I will shop my wardrobe as much as possible.  Well, what remains that I didn't get rid of throughout the year.

On Tuesday I am going to a concert with my girlfriends.  I'll be honest and admit that I am not a concert goer.  I'm not one for ringing ears and crowds, but they somehow talked me into seeing JLo.

Nail polish-OPI On Collins AvenueLipstick-Maybelline Coral Crush (truly suits every complexion), Ring-Maria Maria Adjustable Pod RingTop-Witchery, Bandage skirt - Kookai (similar at Forever New)Clutch-ZaraShoes-Christian Louboutin Decollete

For the work Christmas party (and at least one of the weddings) I have tracked down the very last knee length version of this dress in a raspberry pink.  I'm thinking a nude peeptoe pump or wedge, more fake tan and nude/bronze make up and accessories.  

I am really into bright nails and lips this season.  A cheap and wonderful way to update any look over the party season. OPI Cajun Shrimp should be in every beauty cupboard.

It's beginning to look a lot like summer.. holidays

A bit of a respite cannot come quickly enough for me.  I am tired. Really tired.  Nothing is more tranquil than a calm and clean house and the smell of something delicious baking in the oven, however that all falls by the wayside when you're working 16 hour days and all you can do at home is have a hot shower (while sitting down from exhaustion) and sleep like a log.  I had the heater on last night while Melbourne was being moody with the weather.  Lets face it, we went to the beach on Saturday, so we have to get some cold days in for good measure. 

I am preparing for my parents visit later this month (the guest bedroom is an ongoing project I tell you) and then jetting off somewhere extremely hot for two weeks in January.  I do love this time of year.  Hopefully I am well enough for another clean and declutter and Christmas decorating.  And remind me to send my Christmas cards out...

Reef smells like summer

Monday, 3 December 2012

Mid life (fashion) crisis

I don't know if it's the fact that I'm itching so dangerously close to turning 30 but I'm finding clothes and shopping to be a complete drag.  Everything that's being thrown at me has no appeal or is horrendously overpriced that all I can do is shake my head.  I overanalyse absolutely every purchase, even mulling over a $19 singlet from Sportsgirl that I know is NEEDED to layer to make an outfit work.  I spent two hours yesterday wandering around the mall yesterday only to walk out empty handed, when I knew I desperately needed things to wear over summer.  The Net-a-Porter free shipping code also rendered my cart empty.

Is anyone else feeling the same, or have you had a similar experience?

Of course all is not lost.  I am squirreling away some money and focusing on Christmas presents for loved ones.  It's not all doom and gloom.

Monday, 26 November 2012


I flew back from a glorious weekend in Perth late last night which I spent with an old friend who's back for a while after studying abroad. 3 years worth of stories. I love and miss you V. Nothing beats the friendship that can continue where it left off years ago.

Since culling my wardrobe this year I've not had many exciting outfits to blog, so here is what I wore to work today. I'm well and truly sick of tights.

- Scanlan dress & belt
- Sussan jacket
- Witchery necklace & flats

Sunday, 25 November 2012


I have needed to run away from the reality of my 9-5 existence (more like 8-8 these days) more than ever. And the only way to not spend the weekend also trying to make the impossible happen for some people is to run away as far as possible.

Thank goodness for quick flight times.

Charlie & Co burgers and truffle and parmesan fries, macarons, drinks in the sunshine at Opera Bar.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Boot scootin'

What better way to procrastinate getting out of bed to go to the gym than trying to decide which new boots to buy for next winter. Right as summer is about to start.  Typical me.

As I'll be taking most of next year off, the pony hair boots couldn't be justified.  I couldn't blame my clients for needing them.

Instead I hit the practical route and got these.  They will probably serve me better and wiser next year and could well come to France with me, depending on when I go.  It's all about the inner dialogue justifying it to the wallet.

The real issue at hand however is what on earth I'm going to wear this summer, if summer ever decides to arrive (last night I had the heating on).  Most of my wardrobe was sold or thrown out this year and I hate all the fluro tank tops they're trying to make me wear.  May just live in a sarong.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

And the winner is.... ME!?

This time last year I was wandering the streets of Paris.  As I've written a number of times, it was one place high on my bucket list that I wanted to tick off.  I worked pretty hard to make it work - somehow!   I didn't know at the time but my body was in the midst of being taken over by an autoimmune illness, perhaps the reason why I didn't see any of the magic city past 8pm.  Apart from late night cocktails at Opera Bar at Crillon Hotel.  In my experience, every stereotype of Paris was a myth - Paris was clean and beautiful, people were not uptight or snooty and if I made a little effort to speak French, they all made effort to speak English.  The high end stores were a delight - I encountered the loveliest sales assistants from Chanel to Hermes to Maje and everything in between.  And I still drool at the thought of the Raspberry Tart at Laduree.

You can read my posts from that trip HERE.

There were plenty of things left that I hadn't had a chance to see.  I never made it to Versailles and most of the museums went unvisited.

Yesterday, unlike most Melbournians, I headed to work, leaving my phone in my car by mistake.  When I finally got around check it late last night, I had a bunch of missed from a mobile number I didn't recognise and just as I picked it up the number rang again.

Rewind to last Saturday as B and I were enjoying breakfast and papers at our favourite cafe and I had sent my details, entering a competition thinking that surely nobody ever wins those things, let alone ME!?!?!

Well I got the shock of my life last night when the lovely Laura from the Melbourne French Festival - Paris to Provence called me to say I'D WON A TRIP TO FRANCE!

I have no idea how or when this will all take place (maybe for my next birthday???) and where do I want to go?  Paris?  A farmhouse or chateaux?  Maybe I'll offer my house for a house swap and hope there's somebody that wants to spend time in Melbourne whilst I'm in France.  MIND IS BLOWN!

Either way, I am so fortunate and so privileged to have won.  Maybe my luck will continue today with a win at the races (Mount Athos?) and the $100mil lotto draw.. (I do promise to share and be generous!)


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Vogue Australia - December 2012

A few years ago, I believe I read somewhere that Australia is the only market where Bazaar is read more widely than Vogue. In a way I could relate as many months I found Bazaar a better read than Vogue.  While both were luxury magazines, I could understand how Vogue felt perhaps a little bit more out of touch.  As a subscriber of international editions of Vogue, I found that Australian Vogue reprinted far too many features and covers (Bazaar may have been just as big a culprit but I did not read international editions of same).

Like most women, I was angered at the way that Kirstie Clements was treated but ultimately the end result has been good for Vogue.  The recent issues have been wonderful and the covers original.  And the online presence has grown immensely.  Bravo to the Vogue team for a wonderful December cover, featuring two lovely Australian ladies - Julia Nobis and Black Caviar, leading ladies in their field.

As we head into racing season and balmy summer nights and parties I can't wait to see what Vogue has to suggest.  My partying and shopping maybe scaled back this year, but I won't let that stop me from enjoying my summer.  What are your plans?

Picture: Benny Horne for Vogue Australia

Monday, 29 October 2012

Home truths

Nothing like your own bed

Moo cow

Bedroom window view - hello baby cactus and mint plant

This year, my bedroom has become my sanctuary.  For someone who functioned on very little to no sleep, I am asleep by 9pm most nights. 

I don't know how I lived comfortably in a one bedroom flat for 4 years, yet since moving into our house last year (which is more than 3 times the size of the flat) everything has been overflowing.  I've lost count of the clothes, shoes, furniture that's been sold on eBay or thrown out, yet every couple of weeks it becomes obvious that even more has to go.  The bedroom has been the biggest victim benefactor of my ruthless culling.  Half of my clothes are gone.  9/10 hair and skin products have been turfed. Now every piece of my highly edited wardrobe has it's space (let me tell you, outfits are on high rotation) and the top draw of the tall boy is a mecca of only the best and favourite products.  

I've unsubscribed from most of the daily deal websites now (too much junk being marketed as a bargain) but not before I bought the most wonderful 1000 count thread quilt cover set for $37.  They are simply divine and so easy to keep clean (maybe the Omo Ultimate & NapiSan has something to do with it???)

Crisp white sheets, clean pajamas and a good night sleep are hard to beat for me these days.  And it's true what they say - make your bed every morning, because even if you accomplish nothing today, walking into your bedroom and seeing the bed made will make you feel calmer... because even if all else has failed at least you had made the bed.

The guest bedroom has also been receiving plenty of attention (correction, ruthless throwing out of everything in sight).  It is the multifunctional genius.  Or at least it will be by the time I finish with it this summer.

Speaking of summer, any chance I can put away the tights yet???

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Monday, 1 October 2012

Make a stand

I'm probably one of the most opinionated people you are likely to meet.  I like to form an opinion on EVERYTHING, however I don't voice much of that on my blog.  I love engaging in debates, I love learning about new things, I love reading.  My mind is always buzzing with thoughts.  And this post maybe unlike others that I post but I felt compelled to voice my thoughts. If you follow me on Twitter, this is probably nothing new for you.

This past week I have been both upset and angered at the treatment of women in Australia.  Firstly the vulgar attacks on our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and the awful comments from Alan Jones about her fathers death.  Although I don't agree with a lot of her policies, I truly believe that she has been absolutely crucified during her leadership mostly because she is a woman.  Her personal life choices are just that and should have nothing to do with how she does her job.  I am tired of women being belittled and I am tired of society doing nothing about it.  If a public figure gets away with humiliating the leader of our country in the media, what example does that set the wider community?  Question her policies by all means, but do not bring the death of her father into it in the most derogatory of ways.  Why does society continue to employ these men and continue to accept their indiscretions.   

Even more tragic was the death of Jill Meagher.  It's amazing how this sad event has touched so many people from all walks of life.  I suppose because Jill is just like the rest of us.  An ordinary young woman who went out for drinks with friends from work and never came home.  When a bush walker goes missing, you think, well I don't go bush walking.  But everyone goes out on a Friday night.  I hope this brings regulation to the taxi industry; taxis often refuse short fares, forcing us to walk home which could place us in dark streets surrounded by strange people.  Cameras in notorious spots are often not working (I once had all of my belongings stolen and I could see 5 cameras positioned towards the spot where I was, yet all of them were switched off).  I hope that people take harassment seriously.  The footage shows a man approaching Jill and engaging in a conversation that she was clearly uncomfortable having.  If a woman says no to speaking with you, it should be taken as a no.  Let alone any further advances.  Why should women have to put up with unwanted conversation and be forced to fight it off?  I won't even begin to voice my opinions on individuals with extensive history of violence towards women being released back into the community... convincing officers of the law that they are cured.  Some illnesses have no cure.  There are people whose locks should not have a key.

via google

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


I very rarely browse Etsy.  I find it's a black hole full of things I want.  I can easily spend 5 hours discovering the most beautiful items and getting lost in the beauty of everything I come across.  I suddenly imagine myself wearing long kaftans, silk jumpsuits and outrageous jewellery.  Etsy totally sucks me in.  Luckily I'm pretty good at avoiding it.  It's too annoying to browse on my phone and I rarely open my laptop these days.

I didn't however have much luck avoiding the beautiful and dainty jewellery of Illuminance Jewelry.

Everything is exquisitely made and insanely beautiful. Some of favourites that are headed my way...


all images below to Etsy seller.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Birthday thoughts....

It's been a year of learning for me.  As I enter the last year of my 20's I am grateful to have had the opportunity to grow up and become an adult.  The life of many I know was cut short, much, much too soon.  But this year has also forced me to slow down a lot.  I simply don't have the energy to live the life I was used to.  I sometimes miss the old pace, but I know that I need my 9-10 hours sleep now and I don't battle against it.  It's been a long 10 months and learning about auto immune disease took me longer than I expected and distressed me more than I would have liked, but the forced changes have got me on the mend.  Maybe I seem a bit selfish now, often saying no, but there is no alternative for me.  I eat a lot of apples, do some light exercise and sleep.  A lot.

And my consumption has truly minimised.  Instead of buying I now sell.  And besides, acid green crop tops hold no appeal to me.  Even my old faithful Scanlan & Theodore isn't what it used to me in my eyes and for my style. 

So the dilemma around what to do with my birthday money started to consume me over the past few weeks.  I wanted to reward myself with something nice, as was my goal at the beginning of the year (to only buy quality items) instead of spending my birthday money on a couple of small things that later down the track disappear.

I'd had my old Fendi wallet since 2008 when I spent an absurd amount of money while trapped at Bangkok airport for 14 hours.  If there's an airport designed to suck every cent out of your bank account (and put a huge dint into your credit card as well) it's certainly Bangkok.

So now I'm a proud owner of a new and much needed wallet.

A review post to follow...  

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Last weekend of winter


Green door at Redcliffe

Sea shells at Burleigh Heads

Surfers from Burleigh

When the real life gets the better of me I'm fortunate enough to be able to escape and spend time with my parents, who love doing the same thing as I do - hanging out by the beach.  The winter dragged on, like it usually does, so I spent the last weekend of August (also being the last day of winter) on the Gold Coast, doing a huge coastal walk at Burleigh Heads and lounging in the 26C warmth.  It was the best holiday ever, even if it was only 48 hours long.

This year has truly flown by, maybe a little bit too quickly.  It dawned on me yesterday when I ordered my new Moleskine diary for 2013 (it's all about the Peanuts limited edition!!).  But with a new diary comes the permission to plan my annual holiday in January! Can't complain about that.

Also, right now I'm trying to organise my mum's 50th birthday, which is next month.  If anyone has any ideas for what I should do and buy, please share them with me... I've got the cake ordered and I've also got the 50 red roses lined up (my mum adores flowers)... but I'm stumped on a proper gift... HEEEELP!