My family and I have escaped the craziness in the lead up to Christmas this week and have had such a fun time in the US. We took the girls to Disneyland for the first time and they had an absolute ball. They dressed up in their favourite princess looks and got to meet their favourite Disney characters, not to mention check out all the rides (the teacup ride was a fave!). We also headed over to Aspen for a spot of skiing. It was great to introduce Grace to the sport for the first time. She was a natural on skis and was zipping around in no time! It was also a particularly beautiful spot to spend my birthday. I always love a destination birthday
This week I also shared my top tips for buying Christmas presents for the little ones in your life. If you’re still on the look out for the ideal gifts for the kids on your Christmas list, then definitely check this post out — hopefully it’ll help you tick off a few more names!
Not long to Christmas now… I hope you’re all enjoying the most wonderful time of the year.
During a recent photoshoot at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley the picturesque setting was the perfect time to showcase some of my favourite spring looks. Enter this gorgeous Aje dress. There’s nothing I love more than a crisp white look which has a relaxed yet polished vibe that’s perfect for this time of year. The beautiful wattle pattern on this dress adds a slightly rustic feel, which is perfectly offset by the modern cut-outs on the dress. I’m all about a statement sleeve these days and these blouson sleeves add a soft, feminine touch to my overall look.
Whenever I’m wearing something that’s quite pretty in its silhouette, I like to add accessories with a little more grit. Which is why I opted for these Louis Vuitton ankle boots. They help ground the look and cut through the softer elements of the dress. To let the frock take centre stage I decided on simple jewellery, adding a Dior necklace as my final finishing touch.
A little while ago I went on a trip with Helen Kaminski down to Victoria to celebrate the launch of their Pure Merino Wool collection for A/W 19. The aim of the trip was to learn about their sustainability journey and the way they’re now incorporating beautiful Australian merino wool into their hats, using an innovative new technique. I’ve long been a fan of the brand, and have worn their pieces a lot, so I was interested to see the direction they were steering this collection.
We stayed at the beautiful Jackalope Hotel in the Mornington Peninsula, which was purposely chosen for their sustainable initiatives on site. Some of their practices include collecting rainwater for use, using solar panels, and an on site waste water treatment and recycling system, not to mention the ‘farm to fork’ principle used at all their restaurants. We were even able to forage in the kitchen garden to help us discover more about the local produce and how it ties into the sustainability ethos of the property.
My favourite part of the trip was having the opportunity to visit Barunah Farm where we were able to check out sheep being sheared and learn more about how Helen Kaminski is using Australian merino wool in its collection. In their pledge to be fur free by 2023, Helen Kaminski has worked with partners to innovate a new grade of wool felt that is comparable to the lightness, softness and appearance of fur felt hats. Pure Merino wool is 100 per cent natural and renewable, plus is biodegradable in soil so it ticks a lot of sustainability boxes. Given that 80 per cent of the wool used in fashion globally comes from Australia, this is heartening to know as it’s one way to help reduce our impact on the environment.
The hats itself are gorgeous. So soft to the touch and lightweight too, making each piece a true pleasure to wear. Felt hats are a constant in my winter wardrobe, and I wear them to autumn racing events often so it’s good to know that there’s an alternative to hats made using fur, that’s comparable if not more superior. I also like the fact that it’s one way to support the Australian wool industry and a great way to help the in our important and pressing quest to act consciously and more sustainably.
I spent some time in Melbourne this week to attend the Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out (VAEFNO). The shopping extravaganza is an event I always look forward to for the great shopping, the fashion and beauty installations and also being able to hang out in the American Express Lounge. And this year, it once again didn’t disappoint (I may have snapped up a new purchase or two as well!
Hamilton Island is one of the most beautiful places in the country so I was thrilled to be invited along with Luke to attend Hamilton Island Race Week (HIRW). The week long sailing regatta is always a lot of fun. The schedule is often filled with amazing events and activities to enjoy from dinners to live performances so I was looking forward to our time away. Plus escaping to a bit of gorgeous sunshine is always a welcome way to spend a few days.
One of the standout perks of attending HIRW is without a doubt being able to stay at Qualia. It is undeniably one of my favourite resorts ever. It’s picturesque, serene and an unbeatable location. We were invited to attend a few different events over the course of a few days, with each accompanying dress code differing greatly, so I had fun playing with a few looks ranging from resort casual to dramatic and moody. Here’s a recap of my island experience, one outfit at a time.
Private Lunch at Pebble Beach
It’s always lovely being able to catch up with friends at these big events. My friend Nadia Fairfax and I had absolutely wonderful time enjoying this lunch at Pebble Beach. This took place on our first day in Hamilton Island so I decided on something easy, breezy and beach appropriate. This jumpsuit by The Upside has an oversized silhouette which basically made it just about the comfiest thing I’ve ever worn! The deep V neckline gave it a little bit of an edgy touch and made it a little dressier.
Credits: Jumpsuit, The Upside; Sunglasses, Le Specs
The dress code for the Paspaley lunch was ‘elegant white’ so I wanted to wear something that was fresh yet still dressy. I love matching sets as event wear and this top and skirt by Camilla and Marc fit the bill. It had a flowy silhouette with a sheer effect which is perfect for a beach event, and I particularly loved the billowy sleeves of the top. I teamed it with a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti heels to add a dressy touch, whilst a diminutive Louis Vuitton cylinder bag added a fun detail, particularly with its unexpected shape. I topped off my look with scallop edged Chloe sunglasses—a playful finishing detail but utilitarian too!
This was a beautiful dinner with young Australian artist Sophie Cape and art identity and gallery owner Tim Olsen. The dress code was dark earth tones so I opted for a dramatic black Zimmermann dress. If you can’t dial up the drama when it comes to an evening such as this when can you do it?The detail on the dress is gorgeous—from the blouson sleeves, to the lace and frilled neckline it certainly fit the bill for the evening. I paired this look with the same Giuseppe Zanotti heels I wore to the Paspaley lunch (I like to pack light!) and an elegant Louis Vuitton clutch.
Credits: Dress, Zimmermann; Shoes, Giuseppe Zanotti; Bag, Louis Vuitton
I’ve been on the go non-stop this week. Earlier in the week I spent some time in the Mornington Peninsula on a three day immersive experience with Helen Kaminski. We stayed at the gorgeous Jackalope Hotel and spent some time being taken through the sustainability journey of the Helen Kaminski brand. From seeing how the wool goes from farm to being fashioned into the felt that the brand’s hats are made from to foraging on the Jackalope property, it was such an interesting few days, and one that’s certainly opened my eyes a little more to the craftsmanship that brands often put into their products and also sustainability as a whole.
And at the end of the week I was off again! This time I headed to Hamilton Island Race Week and was lucky enough to be able to take Luke with me so we had a fun weekend enjoying the festivities and catching up with friends. It was gorgeous weather up there so it was nice to be able to escape Sydney for awhile. We were hosted at the insanely beautiful Qualia resort and during our time there had some delicious meals, flew in a helicopter to check out heart reef and generally enjoyed a little R&R. After such a busy few days, I’m looking forward to easing myself into a new week—who knows what it will bring.
There’s nothing like the feeling of going overseas and I’m of the frame of mind that there’s no harm starting that holiday feeling right on home soil. During a recent trip to New Zealand for a friend’s birthday, Luke and I decided head to Sydney Airport early. Not only do I hate the feeling of rushing to catch a flight but as it was a weekend away without the kids, we were in the mood to take our time at the airport, enjoy the new facilities and kick start our getaway a little ahead of schedule!
One of the big reasons we arrived at the airport early was that I wanted to sneak in a bit of window shopping beforehand. There are several designer stores to check out at the international terminal including Gucci, Fendi, Burberry and Ferragamo so I was able to compile a mental wish list before I’d even boarded our flight.
Along with the great boutiques, the beauty offering at the airpot is also top notch so I always stock up on any products I’m running low on. This time around though I made a point of popping into the La Praire pop-up beauty suite for a quick hand and arm massage. So luxe! If I had a little extra time I would have definitely booked myself in for an express facial. It’s a great way to prep the skin before boarding a plane, given flying can be so dehydrating. If you find yourself at the airport in the next few weeks definitely consider doing it.
There are several new restaurants, cafes and bars now at Sydney Airport so we were spoilt for choice. And as we were sans kids, we decided to enjoy a pre-flight drink at Heineken House. It was a great way to relax and get ourselves ready for a fun weekend ahead.
In the past I’ve always just transited through the airport, perhaps stopping to pick up a magazine or snack along the way. However with all that’s on offer now, whenever I fly these days, whether it’s by myself, with Luke or as a family, I think it’s worth arriving early for. Being able to enjoy the new amenities (especially squeezing in a spot of shopping) is a fun way to begin a holiday and something that definitely makes the whole travel experience all the better.
This post was produced in collaboration with Sydney airport
If you’re making the big trip over to enjoy the European summer —lucky you! I’ve enjoyed spending time over there during the warmer months through the years, and even got married in Taormina in Italy so it’s the type of holiday that has a special place in my heart. And having packed for it a time or two I’ve managed to get my packing down to a fine art to avoid carting around a big heavy bag to the other side of the world. If you’re heading over there here are a few of my tips for what to bring.
Europeans have the most amazing style and tend to dress up so it’s the perfect time to step up your fashion game. I’ve always found it a great opportunity to get some use of out the dressier pieces that I don’t tend to wear that often in Australia. So if you’ve got a cocktail dress that you love, you can totally get away with wearing it with flats or sneakers during the day when you’re enjoying summertime in Europe.
Invest in Aussie brands
I firmly believe Australia does beautiful resort wear like no other place on the planet so take advantage of it and add a few homegrown pieces to your travel wardrobe. Brands like Zimmermann, Camilla and Marc, Bassike and Albus Lumen are faves of mine and I’ll always go away with a dress or swimwear or cute separates from those brands.
I’m a firm believer in not over packing so I’ll always do a tight edit of what I’m bringing with me. If I’m bringing dresses, I always make sure that it’s a style that I can wear with slides or sandals during the day and dress up with wedges or dressy accessories at night. The same rule applies to any separates I bring too; everything has to serve more than one purpose.
I mostly like to bring separates with me because I can create several different outfits by just bringing a few pieces. I always make sure that everything works together so I don’t end up with a top for example that I can only wear with one specific pair of shorts. Also co-ord sets are great for this purpose too because they look cute worn together but can also be separated and worn apart.
Bring a multi-purpose bag
I don’t like to bring a ton of bags with me so I’ll always bring one crossbody bag that I can wear with the straps over my body or tuck the straps in and use it as a clutch. Another alternative that’s perfect for now is a basket bag. I’m really loving all the wicker/straw bags around now as they can be worn during the day or at night.
Leave heels at home
You’ll find yourself navigating lots of cobblestoned streets so leave stilettos at home because it’s virtually impossible to walk in sky high heels on cobblestones night after night and not do yourself an injury! Instead bring wedges, or alternatively a beautiful pair of flats or slides will also work well. Plus they’re much more comfortable.
It was a winter themed week on Instagram. I shared my favourite new teddy coat which along with being one of the most popular trends of the season has got to be one of the best ways to keep warm I’ve encountered yet. Soft, cosy and stylish, this Ducie coat was my What I Wore star of the week. In fact I love it so much I’ve been wearing it non-stop including my trip to Queenstown over the weekend. Luke and I started by toasting the trip ahead at the airport before flying to New Zealand with some good friends for the weekend. Not only was it relaxing and the scenery stunning but one of my best friends got engaged over there! It certainly was one of the most memorable weekends I’ve had!
As most parents will attest, the words ‘holiday’, ‘easy’ and ‘kids’ don’t always go hand in hand. From the mammoth packing challenge ahead of you to travelling to your destination and finding enough family-friendly things to do, there’s a little more effort involved compared to just going on holiday sans little ones. So when you find a place that’s ideal for a getaway with kids it’s your public duty to let parents everywhere know…and that’s exactly what I’m doing! We recently spent some time at the newly renovated Daydream Island and it was such a great vacation with kids and here’s why.
1. It’s easy to get to
I always take travel logistics into consideration whenever we’re going on a family holiday and Daydream Island definitely ticked that box. You can fly straight into Hamilton Island and then get a 30-minute ferry ride to Daydream Island.
2. There’s lots of entertainment for kids
A holiday with children requires loads of entertainment so we were quite pleased with the facilities available. There were several pools for the girls to play in plus we could also go to the beach. Not only that they had an aquarium where kids can play with sea creatures and a living reef where you could watch the stingrays and baby sharks go past as you ate breakfast. Also there’s a marine biologist on site who the kids could direct all their questions to about the animals. We also did an additional activity where Sophia and Grace were able to feed the baby stingrays. And there’s also a great kids’ club on site which is ideal for days of inclement weather or you just want to spend a few hours doing other activities like water sports or relaxing by the pool and reading a book.
3. Wildlife aplenty
My kids are five and three and just love animals so they were excited that as soon as we got to the island there was a wallaby just hanging out! Not only that, it wasn’t uncommon to see a kangaroo hopping past as you walked to breakfast, not to mention all the sea creatures in the aquarium and the living reef.
4. You can easily island hop
It’s really easy to check out the neighbouring islands. Hamilton Island is close by if you want to check it out. We decided to go on a helicopter ride to beautiful Whitehaven Beach and were able to have a picnic there with the kids.
5. The climate’s great
It was 25 degrees in the middle of winter when we were there so you can expect the temperature to be alright most of the year. If you wait till later in the year however, I imagine the weather will be gorgeous and balmy and perfect beach temperatures.
6. A range of activities for adults
It’s not just about the kids! One day we popped the girls into kids’ club and decided to go on a jet skiing tour of the nearby islands. The girls were able to enjoy themselves and Luke and I were able to take a little break which was a win-win situation for everyone when you’re on a family holiday.