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Lifestyle

Our family holiday to Trisara in Thailand

16th August, 2018

We’ve been wanting to go on a family holiday for awhile and while most of my family decided to make the epic trip to Europe we wanted to go somewhere a little closer to home. While we were still keen to go on an overseas trip, we also knew that there’s only a finite number of hours we could spend on a plane with the kids in tow, so somewhere in Asia seemed a great option. We finally decided on Phuket as we could fly there direct and it’s less than 10 hours in transit (every little hours counts when you’re travelling with little ones!). Also the idea of being able to enjoy the sun and just relax (as much as you can with two very active children anyway) and not have to rush around sounded like heaven.

Where we stayed

As it’s an island destination you’re spoilt for choice as far as places to stay go but bearing in mind that we had the girls, we wanted to stay at a resort with great amenities and in close proximity to the beach. Trisara was a great option. It ticked all the boxes as far as things to do, places to eat and spacious and comfortable rooms that would accomodate the four of us.

We stayed in a villa suite which had a little private pool. It ended up being the perfection option because both our girls still nap in the day so we could put them to sleep and then sit by the pool rather than waiting in a dark room, which is often the case on holidays!

The service at the resort was also fantastic and the staff were always so helpful and accomodating.

Where we ate

Places to eat are always really important to us when we’re on a family holiday. We found that the food at Trisara was always really great, whether we were eating at one of the restaurants or having lunch by the pool. Plus there were lots of good kid friendly meals so the girls were happy.

We really loved the authentic “Mama” cuisine at Seafood at Trisara which was not only delicious but the whole vibe of the restaurant was so relaxed so we were able to really enjoy dining there with the girls. Also one of the other places we tried at the resort was PRU, which was a farm-to-table European cuisine restaurant which offered really amazing food. Another place we would really recommend is Sauy restaurant which had a Thai set menu that was so good we went back a second time. Also don’t miss out on Sunday brunch at Trisara. Even if you don’t stay at the hotel definitely make the effort to go as it’s incredible, I highly recommend it.

What we did

The kids loved every minute of our stay. They’re water babies so they were pretty much in the pool from morning until noon. Also they had a kids club which the girls enjoyed and also gave Luke and I a bit of downtime. They were able to do lots of arts and crafts activities which Sophia and Grace really loved.

One of the highlights of the trip was that Luke and I were able to squeeze in a couples massage at the hotel spa. It was absolute heaven and we walked away feeling very relaxed.

The one thing that we all enjoyed doing as a family was visiting the Elephant Retirement Park Phuket for retired and rescued elephants. You get to feed and swim with the elephants which the girls were so excited about. We all had a thoroughly great time and couldn’t recommend it enough. It takes a half day to do the trip though so be sure to set aside plenty of time for it.

We were lucky enough to enjoy eight nights in Phuket and everything was ideal for a family holiday: there was plenty to see and do, the food options are endless and the weather was just heavenly. Also being able to call Trisara home for over a week was pretty special. This trip was so great for the four of us and we definitely had plenty of happy memories to take home.

This post was created in collaboration with Trisara

For more details check out Trisara and Divine Destinations

Fashion, Lifestyle

Reader Question: What are your tips for travelling light?

28th July, 2018

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Welcome to my first ever reader Q&A! I tend to be thrown a fashion question or two quite regularly whether it by on social media, at an event or right here on this very blog so I thought I would start featuring my answers here in case it’s something another reader has also been wanting to ask. If you’ve got a question you’ve been dying to know the answer to feel free to post other questions in the comments section, send me a Facebook message or write on my wall, comment on my Instagram or send me a tweet. The more questions the better!

 

Hi Kate,

Any ideas please for packing to travel overseas. I am going to Ireland, Scotland and Denmark in July and would love to get an idea of basic mix and match and practical travel clothes I will wear rather than have excess luggage.

Kind regards, Robyn

 

You’ve come to the right place, Robyn! I’ve become become quite good at taking the bare minimum when I’m travelling. I used to pack so much every time I went away and my thought process would usually go something like this: “Oh I love this dress, I’ve never worn it in Sydney but I might wear it overseas!” and just apply the same logic to pretty much everything in my wardrobe. And let’s face it, the reality is, if I would never wear it in Sydney, why would I wear it overseas? These days I limit myself to one piece of luggage when I’m travelling (even tinier if it’s just a quick trip interstate) and make sure I take a tight edit of clothing. Here’s how I do it:

Bring separates

Packing separates means you can get multiple looks out of each item. Every separate you take you should ensure that not only can you get multiple wears out of it, but that you can also easily dress it up or down. For example I’ll always take a little black skirt that I can dress up at night with a black singlet top or wear casually during the day with a tee or singlet and sneakers. I normally take one little black skirt, maybe a longer skirt whether it’s a midi or maxi skirt and some shorts. I’ll always take white t-shirts, I’ll always take a black singlet top, and even if it’s summer you’ll still need a little cardigan just in case it gets cold. So the cardigan I wear on the plane is the cardigan I’ll wear throughout the trip. Usually I’ll take a cardi in black is it will go with a lot of outfits.

Limit shoes

Fact: shoes are heavy when you have multiple pairs on your hands. Don’t go nuts in the shoe department when you travel. I’ll always take a black pair of heels, they might not be my favourite heels at the time but they’ll go with everything. And usually they’re the only heels I will bring. When I went to Switzerland with my family over Christmas one year it was black tie events each night and I only had one pair of heels with me that I knew I would be able to wear to every single event. Also if you’re heading to Europe you’ll encounter plenty of cobblestoned streets which are quite romantic and lovely to stroll along but are wildly inappropriate for walking on in heels. For this very reason make sure you bring a pair of wedges. I go to Taormina in Italy a lot and I know I wouldn’t be able to survive a trip (and most likely end up with a broken ankle) without wedges.

I always take flats with me like sandals and sneakers. I’ll take sandals for the beach and Adidas sneakers or Nikes that I can wear casually or on a power walk. But I always keep flats to a minimum and make sure that they work with everything that I’m bringing.

Bring a multipurpose bag

I always bring a tiny Chanel cross body bag that I can wear during the day and then at night I can tuck the chain in and use it as a clutch. If you decide to take something with you it should always serve more than one purpose. I’ll often have a bigger bag for the plane which can fit my computer but I’ll make sure that bag is the bag I’ll use as a beach bag or a baby bag during the trip. There’s no need to bring a million different bags.

Do laundry

Don’t be one of those people who doesn’t wash clothes during the trip! Just take a small ziploc bag of detergent with you in your suitcase so you can easily wash things like underwear in your hotel room. Don’t bring 100 pairs of socks and underwear because you don’t want to wash. That’s precious suitcase space all those superfluous underpants are taking up!

Make accessories multitask

Take a variety of different accessories as they don’t take up too much room but they’re really great for changing your outfit. One thing I always take is a black sarong because I can wear it as a scarf and also wear it as a cover up at the beach or as a towel if I don’t have one with me. Plus if I’m going sightseeing to places such as a church where I might need to cover up my shoulders or need a scarf around my head, a sarong can always be used for that too.

Be ruthless

You don’t need multiple options for the one type of clothing. You have to decide and choose to bring only one. So for example I always limit myself to one pair of jeans. If I bring a pair of white jeans then I don’t take blue jeans. Just stick to one pair. And only ever take one swimsuit.

Do a trial run

I will lay some clothes out a week before and I will slowly take things away during the week. By the end of the week I’ll have a pretty limited number of outfits but I know they all work together to form a good capsule wardrobe.

Have a two-occasion minimum

While separates are great you can take summer dresses or a playsuit too but just make sure that you can wear it at night with heels or a statement necklace. Or if you bring a maxi dress you can wear it to the beach but also in the evening if you’re going out to dinner. Make sure you look at something and ask yourself how many times can your wear it and in how many different ways? You should always be able to come up with a minimum of two occasions in which you will be able to wear it during your trip.

If you follow the above tips you should be well on your way to being able to pack light so that you’ve got plenty of space to bring home all those holiday mementos. Or just shop a lot.

Photography: Sophia Athas

 

 

 

Lifestyle, Shop

Perfect your European summer holiday wardrobe with these buys (plus a few of my fave packing tips)

27th July, 2018

Taormina – one of my fave European summer holiday spots

There’s nothing quite like a European summer holiday. The sunshine, the exotic beaches, the beautiful colours and the amazing food always makes for a trip to remember. One of my fave spots in the world is Taormina in Italy. Not only did I get married there it’s also a place that my family has visited since I was a little girl and I can’t think of a better European summer vacation destination.

Having done the a few getaways there in my time, I’m well versed in the fact that spending the summer in Europe requires some precision planning. There’s a fine balance in achieving an  Insta-worthy wardrobe but also avoiding taking multiple suitcases so you don’t have to lug them across multiple cobblestoned streets when all you want to do is have an Aperol Spritz.

If you’re lucky enough to be jetting off somewhere fabulous and exotic then be sure to check out a few of my tips below and stock up on some key pieces that will take you through your entire holiday and beyond. Have a great trip!

Think light and bright

European summer travel wardrobes are all about bright and airy pieces that will take you through your entire holiday. Now is the time to embrace crisp whites, faded blues and natural fabrics such as linen and cotton.

Embrace vibrant hues

If there’s one thing that screams ‘European summer’ it’s bold shades. Now is the time to do lots of yellows, pinks, reds, blues and greens and really have fun with all the colours of the rainbow. Also patterned pieces such as a gorgeous summer dress or a cute flowy top will look right at home whether you’re in Corsica or Capri.

Adopt a particular colour palette

To keep a tight edit of your wardrobe think of adopting a particular colour scheme. By doing this you can ensure that all the pieces can work together or separately and will allow you to get more versatility from what you pack. A great one to try is sticking to mostly white pieces that can then be brightened up with accent hues.

Bring mostly flats

Slides, sandals, sneakers—they’re your friend on this trip. Navigating the streets of Europe usually involves a cobblestoned path or two (okay a lot of cobblestoned paths) so you need to think comfort when it comes to your footwear. There are so many great options for dressy sandals around however if you want to bring heels stick to a block heel or wedge as a stiletto is just a disaster waiting to happen. Unless you’re being chauffeured everywhere in which case you can manage!

Have fun with your accessories

Consider your trip as the perfect excuse to embrace playful accessories. Think shell earrings to a straw bag with bright pom pom detail to liven up your look. You’ll also need a few practical pieces such as a crossbody bag to take with you when you’re sightseeing, however you can afford to experiment with different silhouettes such as a circle bag, which seems to have a bit more of a holiday vibe.

Shop my European summer wardrobe edit below…

Beauty, Lifestyle

The rituals I use to stay healthy

12th July, 2018

I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who are in the same boat—juggling work, family, and friends can become a neverending spiral of busyness. From school drop-offs to meetings and trying to get my inbox clear (one day I’ll get to Inbox Zero!) it doesn’t stop. I’ve realised along the way that if I just keep going without looking after myself no one benefits. My energy levels drop and I can become rundown and end up not functioning at my best and this affects both my family and career. This is why I’ve tried to incorporate some little rituals into my week to ensure that I give myself the best chance to stay fit and healthy. Whether it’s five minutes to have a cup of tea or a daily run, I know everyone has their own little ways of nourishing themselves. Here are mine…

Go for a daily walk and coffee run

It’s become a daily event for the kids and I to take a leisurely stroll down to my local cafe to grab a coffee. It’s a nice way for the three of us to start the day and it’s especially nice during summer as we can enjoy the sunshine. I’m able to get my daily caffeine hit and find it’s a great way to ease ourselves into what’s sure to be a busy day.

Go to bed early

I used to go to bed quite late but that all changed when I became a mum. My girls are early risers so I’ve got into the habit of heading to bed between 9.30-10.30 every day. By sticking to this religiously I’ve found I’m able to get enough sleep and have enough energy to deal with a full day constantly being on the go with Sophia and Grace.

Incorporate exercise into my week

I’ve recently joined a local mum club that trains at the beach near my house and have found it to make such a difference to my overall health and state of mind. I do it twice a week, and I’ve found that being able to do a workout helps boost my energy levels and gives me the stamina to get through my hectic schedule. We do lots of circuit training so it’s definitely helped my fitness.

Try and incorporate ‘me time’ into my routine

It’s hard not to get caught up in the craziness of work and family life but I’ve tried to make a point of taking a little time out for myself every so often. Even if it’s just an hour or so to do something on my own. I’ve found it works wonders for my mental health and wellbeing. I’m also lucky in that a lot of the time my work commitments and ‘me time’ intersect. If I’m going to a few racing events for example, getting my nails done and my hair tended to is all part of the process, so I can combine the two and enjoy a little break.

What are some of your favourite health rituals?

Lifestyle

15 of my fave children’s books to read to Sophia and Grace

4th July, 2018

My kids love books—especially Grace who can’t get enough of them. We’ve always read to our girls from a young age and storytime is always one of the highlights of our day. There are so many brilliant kids’ books out there and whilst we always try to read a range to Sophia and Grace, we’ve definitely got a firm list of favourites that we turn to time and time again. The girls are at a great stage now where Grace is at the age where she’s enjoying the same books as Sophia so this makes bedtime reading even more fun as we can do it together, and both of them are engaged.

So what books do we like reading? Well, I’m sure a lot of parents will agree with this but a rhyming story is always a hit. My girls love them. It’s also quite fun to read them as well so it’s a win-win situation. However generally anything with animals, beautiful illustrations or just a really great fun story is always a favourite in our home.

At the moment there’s currently a rotation of about 15 books that will always get pulled out a bedtime. In fact we read them so much I’ll probably be able to recite every word without looking pretty soon! It’s always such a beautiful ritual to end the day by reading to Sophia and Grace and it’s something that I hope will continue for many more years to come. If you’re currently looking for a new storytime read, I highly recommend the following books, which have mine and my kids’ tick of approval.

Claris the Chicest Mouse in Paris by Megan Hess

This is currently Sophia’s favourite book. The illustrations are gorgeous and the story is fantastic with a great lesson.

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

This is one of the best rhyming stories for kids, full stop. It’s a clever story about a crafty mouse outsmarting a snake, a fox and an owl along with the Gruffalo himself. It’s an enjoyable read for the whole family.

What the Ladybird Heard Next by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks

The author Julia Donaldson can always be called upon for a great kids’ read. This is about a ladybird outsmarting robbers with the help of her farmyard friends. And hey, there’s glitter on every page so it’s a definite crowd pleaser.

Princesses Wear Pants by Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim

This story has a great lesson about staying true to yourself and is especially great if you’ve got kids going through a princess phase as Princess Penelope Pineapple is not your typical damsel in distress. She’s intelligent, adventurous, driven and is a great role model. Oh and the story rhymes so double thumbs up!

Sugarlump and the Unicorn by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks

Anything unicorn-related is always a hit with my girls and this one is about a little rocking horse who has his wish granted to become a real horse. However he realises that maybe his old life wasn’t so bad after all…

Belle & Boo and the Goodnight Kiss by Mandy Sutcliffe

This is a great read at bedtime because the it follows Belle, a little girl and her bunny friend, Boo as they go through their night routine from bath to story and goodnight kiss, so it resonates well with young kids.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Another great rhyming tale by the pair behind The Gruffalo. This one is about a witch and the adventures she has with all her animal friends in the forest, with a great message about friendship.

I Don’t Want to Eat My Dinner by David Cornish

If you’re currently experiencing issues with your little ones eating their meals at night (or any other time of day for that matter) then this book is a must-read. It’s all about a young boy named Rollo who manages to make dinner time one of the most exciting times of the day.

Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey

This a funny read, with great illustrations and a really engaging character—what kid doesn’t love a dog? It’s one of those books that both adults and kids will enjoy.

The Very Ordinary Caterpillar by Garry Fleming

Set in the Australian bush, a little caterpillar is surrounded by so many interesting animals and plant life that he realises how ordinary he is. However he soon spins himself a cocoon and well, you know what happens next!

Oi Frog by Kes Gray and Jim Field

A funny rhyming story about a frog who discovers that all animals have their special places to sit. The illustrations are also great so this book will definitely incite a giggle or two.

Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey

Written by the author of Pig the Pug this is about a little unicorn who yearns for a more glamorous life but soon discovers that her old life and who she was minus all the glitter and sparkle is exactly where she wants to be.

The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty by Beatrice Alemagna

This book is about a little girl trying to track down the perfect present for her mum. The colourful illustrations are a favourite with my girls.

Where is the Green Sheep? By Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

This book is a good one to read before bedtime as it culminates in finding a (spoiler alert!) sleeping green sheep. It’s one of Grace’s current faves.

My Zoo by Rod Campbell

Grace is into any books with animals and this one is a great, with lots of cute illustrations. This a good one to read when your child is going through the phase of learning about different animals.

Lifestyle

Sophia’s 4th Birthday Fairy Picnic

30th May, 2018

I still remember sharing Sophia’s first birthday on the blog with you all so it’s so hard for me to believe that she’s now turning four! I’m sure most parents would agree that time really does fly and each birthday comes around quicker than the next. This year we decided to hold Sophia’s party at our family property in the Southern Highlands. Given we were going for a fairy picnic theme it seemed the perfect setting.

We decided on a picnic as it made a lot simpler to style and we just wanted guests to feel relaxed throughout the day. We stuck to a simple colour palette of soft pink and white with little touches of gold which we carried through to everything from the lollies to the cake and the decorations. Sophia was able to have a little more input in her party this year and she actually chose her tutu (from Tutu Du Monde) and the cake that she wanted. We found the cake on Instagram (from @sweetmamacakes) and it worked well with the theme as it was a fairy with a mushroom house.

In terms of decorations we opted for a few balloons and some bunting to give the party area a festive atmosphere. We put down a few pink and white blankets on the grass and scattered a few pillows for the kids to sit on and dotted the place with flowers and gold confetti. It dressed the area up quite easily and it didn’t require us to spend hours decorating.

We didn’t really want to be stressing about catering on the day so we stuck to a simple menu. We had finger foods such as sandwiches, fairy bread (of course!), sultanas, popcorn and cupcakes and fruit platters for the little ones. For the adults we had a few cheese platters and fruit platters and had a good ol’ fashioned sausage sizzle, which worked out great as it was quick and easy.

We always like to have some entertainment on hand to keep the kids occupied so we hired a birthday fairy and she did everything from  dancing with the kids to games like pass the parcel and activities like colouring in. As a special treat we also had pony rides with our family ponies Harley and Jack, and we dressed them up with unicorn horns in keeping with the magical theme.

It was a great day with a few close family and friends and Sophia had the time of her life. I’m sure the next birthday celebration will sneak up on us just as quickly!

Photography: Sophia Athas

Party for the kids

The birthday girl

The picnic set up

Sophia with her friends

Sophia with the birthday fairy

It was a great day for the four of us

The kids having a ball

Grace and I with our friend Emma Watkins aka the Yellow Wiggle!

Cutting the cake

The gorgeous cake

A great day with family and friends

 

Lifestyle

Luke Mangan’s top 10 tips to impress at your next dinner party

23rd April, 2018

With restaurants in Australia, Japan and Singapore and fresh from a $1.5 million renovation of his restaurant the Glass Brasserie in the Hilton in Sydney, Luke Mangan knows the key to a good dining experience. However if unlike the chef and restaurateur you don’t have a team of chefs helping you cook up a storm at home, never fear because Luke has shared his top 10 tips for a successful dinner party. After all if anyone would know how to feed a room full of people with ease it’s a man who is at the helm of restaurants that serve hundreds of diners in a single evening! The next time you’re having people at yours, be sure to keep these tips top of mind for a memorable, stress-free and best of all, enjoyable event.

1. Keep it seasonal

Always plan your menu and try to make it seasonal. There is nothing better than cooking with fresh seasonal produce – it’s also much more cost effective.

2. Simplicity is key

Try not to be too tricky with your menu, cook dishes you know and are comfortable with so you can spend as much time with your guests rather than being stuck in the kitchen, while everyone else is enjoying themselves.

3. Don’t be afraid to delegate

One tip to avoid last minute stress is to delegate. Don’t feel like you have to do everything just because you are hosting. Your friends won’t like to arrive empty handed anyway, so let them be part of the preparation. And don’t be afraid to assign people certain things, that way you wont end up with five plates of the same salad.

Need some table inspo? Take inspiration from the setting at Luke’s restaurant, glass brasserie

4. Create a welcoming vibe

Creating the right ambience is the easiest way to relax people. Candles are a must and soft lighting creates a warm and cosy environment, especially when entertaining in winter. Always have music playing but not too loud; it creates a lovely ambience in house.

5. Check guests’ food requirements

To save yourself the embarrassment, check any dietaries or dislikes ahead of time. Nothing worse than having guests not being able to eat your food – that’s what they’re there for right?

6. Intimate is best

Don’t feel like you need to invite everyone! Keep numbers intimate and minimal – nothing worse than signing yourself up for cooking for a group of 30 guests!

7. Make dessert ahead of time

Choose a dessert you can make ahead of time and keep in the fridge or freezer. By the time you get to dessert the last thing you feel like doing is getting back in the kitchen to finish off the last course!

8. Serve communal meals

I love to serve my dishes “family style”. By placing everything in the middle of the table your guests can help themselves to as little or as much as they like; it is a nice interaction at the table and creates conversation.

9. Keep it relaxed

Most importantly, keep it relaxed and fun; if you’re relaxed then your guests will be relaxed too.

10. Don’t forget the drinks!

And if all else fails, there’s always wine!

 

Lifestyle

My fave shortcuts as a busy mum

5th April, 2018

As a busy mum I have a few time-saving tricks up my sleeve

Working and having two kids means that every day can be quite the juggling act. I don’t think I’ve ever been as busy as when Sophia and Grace came along. All of a sudden I went from being able to manage my time the way I wanted to having to fit everything around them and their schedule. As I’m sure most mums can attest, there’s not a whole lot of time left to get anything done after you’ve tried to get everything on your child-related to-do list checked off.

From taking the girls to pre-school, ballet, play dates and then having to do everything from making dinner to cleaning around the house, it can be a long, exhausting day. So wherever I can I like to take the easy way out. Yes, shortcuts are any busy mum’s friend and they’re definitely mine. Here are a few I’ve adopted to free up a bit more time during the week.

 Get groceries delivered

Anyone who has ever tried to keep their kids entertained whilst simultaneously trying to do their grocery shopping without forgetting pretty much everything they needed in the first place deserves a medal. This is why I’ve taken to shopping online and having my groceries delivered. I can peacefully shop on my laptop when the kids are asleep and then have a week’s worth of food appear in my kitchen without any hassle. If you’re not doing it already, please try it!

Vacuum from anywhere

Vacuuming is one of those chores that needs to be done regularly but it eats up so much time that I always find it a struggle trying to get around to it. So I succumbed to the allure of having my floors cleaned without having to lift a finger. Check it out here Electrolux PUREi9. It’s a robotic vacuum cleaner that I can not only program to follow my own particular cleaning schedule but I can control it from wherever I am using the PUREi9 app on my phone. I was initially worried that it may run into furniture and get stuck while I was out however  it has a 3D Vision system which scans the room and makes sure to avoid obstacles. So I can pretty much just schedule it via the mobile app, leave it and then come home to totally clean floors.

Turn it on and forget about it and come home to magically clean floors

Schedule it via the mobile app

The Electrolux PUREi9 in action

 

Cook once, eat twice

The last thing I want to do is have to spend hours in the kitchen cooking each week. So to halve the time spent on making meals often we’ve taken to whipping up bigger batches of whatever it is we’re having then freezing it as that means we can revisit again on those days when we really can’t be bothered cooking.

Organise as I go along

I’ve noticed that if I try and do things as I go along I don’t have such an epic cleaning job ahead of me at the end of the week. I’ve now tried to implement the rule that if it will only take me a few seconds to put something away then I do it right then and there instead of procrastinating.

I now make a point of trying to organise as I go along

 

Embrace lists

Lists are a mum’s best friend. Instead of wasting time trying to remember things I now map out the day ahead by writing a quick list. If I can see what I have to do, it helps me to plan how I’m going to structure my day so I use my time efficiently. For example if I have to run errands in multiple places during the day I try and do the things closest to home first then work my way out so I don’t spend the time driving around just trying to get from A to B and back again.

Utilise open storage

Before having kids I didn’t really appreciate the usefulness of baskets around the house. I do now. I have a few strategically placed around our apartment so that I can quickly put the girls’ things away at the end of the day. It takes a few minutes and I feel I have a tidy house at the end (this works wonders for calming a frazzled mind). It’s also perfect for those times when people drop by unexpectedly and I need to have a clean house in seconds.

What are some of your favourite shortcuts as a mum?

This post was produced in collaboration with Electrolux

Photography: Sophia Athas

Shop

Valentine’s Day gift ideas that are sure to impress

9th February, 2018

Valentine's Day gift ideas for women

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re yet to have found the perfect present for your other half then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve rounded up my top his and hers gift picks that are sure to impress and earn you some major brownie points on the day. From beautiful accessories for the fashion lover to timepieces that are going to make any watch fan’s day, there’s a perfect token of affection to bring a smile to your beloved’s face. And if you’re happily single, well, this is the perfect time to spoil yourself rotten because there’s no doubt that you absolutely deserve it. I hope you have a loved up February 14th!

Scroll down to start V Day shopping…

For her

Three J NYC cotton poplin pyjamas

There’s always room in a woman’s life for cute and comfy PJs.

Gucci G-timeless leather watch

A classic style that with that bright pop of red has showstopper appeal.

Anine Bing lace soft cup bra

Beautiful lingerie is a definite crowd pleaser for all parties involved.

Ryan Storer lily gold plated earrings

You can never go wrong with a piece of gorgeous jewellery.

Samuele Failli Jerry leather sandals

This is for the woman who wants her footwear to make a bold statement.

Cire Trudon scented candle

A luxe candle that will elevate any home.

Valentino metallic small spike bag

Want to make a woman’s heart start racing? Enter Valentino and it’s day – maybe year – made.

Fleur of England shore robe

A pretty marriage of lace and satin that any woman would be happy to cosy up in.

David Jones premium red roses with truffles

Why mess with a tried and tested formula? Red roses and chocolates are always going to be a winner.

For him

Hugo Boss traveller 4 CC wallet

Do your guy a favour and update his wallet for him. You know he probably needs one…

Emporio Armani baseball cap

For the sporty guy who wants to inject a little luxury into his off duty style.

Hender Scheme distressed penny loafers

Beautifully crafted shoes will always be a welcome addition to any man’s wardrobe.

Polo Ralph Lauren slim fit cotton t-shirt

You can’t go wrong with elevated basics.

Armani Exchange Maddox gold watch

A sleek style that’s worthy of a showing off.

Oliver Spencer drawstring shorts

These are a perfect addition to his summer look.

Cartier round frame sunglasses

These classy sunnies are guaranteed to become a favourite.

Bang and Olufsen wireless speaker

The minimalist style of these speakers underplays its power. Music lovers will definitely love this.

Montblanc checked pattern cufflinks

You can’t go wrong with understated cufflinks.

Fashion, Lifestyle

Closet goals: how to have an organised wardrobe this year

8th January, 2018

An organised closet really is a sight to behold. When shoes are all neatly lined up, shirts folded and divided into neat piles, everything from blouses and dresses all perfectly hung up into distinct categories it brings a noticeable feeling of satisfaction. It also makes getting dressed SO much easier. I’ve tried to implement an organisation system in my own wardrobe for this very reason. And whilst it admittedly does take a little daily tidying up, it also means I don’t have to do a huge clean up a few weeks down the track when all my clothes are threatening to take over our entire bedroom. If you want to make things stress-free on the sartorial front for the rest of the year, take advantage of all that New Year energy to do an overhaul of your wardrobe and turn it into a space that’s Pinterest-worthy and one that you’ll be happy to stare into every single day.

Here are some great ways to start…

Colour code everything

Grouping like with like is a great system to employ when it comes to your wardrobe. It makes locating everything at a glance a simple process and let’s face it, it looks really nice too.

Sub-divide into categories

Whilst colour coding is extremely handy as a sorting tool you could also try another method which is to divide everything into different categories. This means grouping all your skirts together, your t-shirts together, your jeans together and so forth. With a closet divided into distinct areas you’ll find it easier to find what you’re looking for.

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Organise jeans from light to dark

If you own multiple pairs of jeans it can be hard to keep track of them all so this year, organise them from lightest wash to darkest wash. If you’ve got the space, hang them up so you can avoid wrinkling them and thus have them ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Fold garments like a boutique

You could just throw everything into your wardrobe and hope for the best or you could take a few minutes to fold your clothes and put them away in perfect piles like a boutique would. By categorising into piles you make things doubly easier for yourself as you can immediately see what you’re looking for. Also this is the best way to store things that stretch such as woollen jumpers and tees which make stretch if hung up.

Label everything

Earn double organisation points by labelling everything. Yes, you may already know where everything is but visually it helps to have a clear idea of what you’re looking it.

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Arrange bags vertically

By lining up bags vertically as opposed to sitting them all on top of each other you not only help protect their shape but reduce the time it takes to track down a particular clutch or tote.

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Get matching hangers

Nothing says you’ve got your style sorted like staring into a wardrobe with matching hangers. Bin the old mismatched hangers you may have been using (wire especially as they can ruin the shape of clothes) and get wooden or slim velvet ones. The former looks amazing all lined up and is gentle on clothes whilst the latter allows you to fit more into your wardrobe as they take up less space, plus it has a bit of grip so you avoid things like silk blouses slipping off constantly.

Put things away in drawers vertically

If you store most of your things in drawers, instead of piling them up on top of each other, put them away vertically so you can see everything as opposed to just what’s on top. You’ll be amazed at how much more wear you’ll get out of everything simply by being able to see what you own.

How do you keep your wardrobe organised?