Given the number of public holidays we’ve had over the last week or so it’s hard to keep up with what day it is! I managed to squeeze in a relaxing few days at our family farm in the Southern Highlands and made the most of the gorgeous weather we’ve been having by going for a stroll with the girls and Luke. It’s always a nice way to spend time as a family.
Usually packing to go overseas can be quite frantic as I try and get my entire family packed up for a holiday but my recent work trip to Paris was a different story. I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the global launch of the new Huawei P30 in the City of Light so it was the perfect excuse to pull together a few outfits incorporating some of my favourite new season pieces from my go-to Aussie designers.
Whenever I’m in Paris, everyone looks so chic so my packing was a little more considered, not to mention I had a few events in my schedule that I would be attending. Here’s a little breakdown of every outfit from my Parisian sojourn…
I’m really into suits at the moment and I love the cut of this one by Rebecca Vallance. I opted to wear this as a two-piece set and dress it down and make it sightseeing appropriate by pairing it with baby pink Chanel sneakers. When it comes to suits I’m really into double breasted jackets as I find they’ve got a modern sensibility to them. The cropped trousers also add a more relaxed feel to the outfit. The great thing about this look is that I could easily dress it up by simple swapping sneakers for heels.
For breakfast at the insanely beautiful Peninsula Paris, I wanted a look that was casual yet polished. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with the classic pairing of a white shirt with jeans. These Camilla and Marc jeans have been so versatile and are just the perfect cut and as such I’ve been wearing them constantly. The white shirt with its slightly billowy sleeves made for a dressy companion for denim, and paired with my new go-to Chanel sneakers, it was an on trend look that still maintained a dressy feel. My new Prada bag was also great for the trip as I was able to pair it with virtually all of my outfits and I could carry it via the handle or strap, making it perfect for sightseeing.
Shop the look:
Shirt: by Camilla & Marc (currently not available)
Pants: Margot Cropped Straight Leg Jean by Camilla & Marc
For a trip to Versailles I wanted to dress up a bit but also wanted to remain comfortable so a dress seemed the perfect choice. I love the print and silhouette of this Camilla and Marc mini dress, but wanted to give it a little extra shape so I decided to cinch it in with one of my favourite belts by Isabel Marant. It was still slightly chilly during my time in Paris, so I decided to go for over the knee flat boots by Stuart Weitzman and a red faux fur coat to snuggle up in. My pink Bulgari bag allowed me to carry all my essentials but minus the fuss of actually having to carry a large bag. Also I was able to use the same bag when I was going out to dinner so it was a really versatile piece to take with me on my trip.
For one of my first strolls around Paris I opted for a great checked belted dress by Dion Lee. Given it was still a little chilly outside I layered it over a long sleeved white tee and paired it with my grey over the knee boots. When you’re travelling and have to dress for trans-seasonal weather I think boots are always a great option as they keep you warm but if it starts to get a little hotter you’re not left sweltering. My Prada bucket bag once again made an outing as it’s the perfect size for sightseeing and is easily converted into a slightly dressier option by carrying it as a top handle bag. I think one of the golden rules of packing for a trip is to ensure that whatever is in your suitcase can be worn in myriad ways so you don’t end up having to take your entire wardrobe with you.
We went out for dinner one night and I wanted to wear something dressy so it was the perfect opportunity to wear this chartreuse midi dress by Camilla and Marc. I love the simple and elegant silhouette of this particular dress but in such a striking colour it becomes a showstopper piece. It was a little cool to be wearing heels so black boots helped ground the look whilst still keeping me nice and toasty.
I brought this Rebecca Vallance suit along as I was able to wear it as separates with the jacket or pants paired with something else or as a set. Black suiting is always a classic option and it was the ideal outfit to wear out to dinner at a local restaurant. An all-black look when you’re travelling is a failsafe choice as it’s guaranteed to look chic and doesn’t require much fussing around. I kept my look quite simple, opting for black pumps and simple jewellery to channel a minimalist Parisian vibe.
We decided to make the most of the long weekend and get out of Sydney and drive down to our family farm to spend the Easter break. It’s always nice to get out of town for a bit and wind down in the country for a few days. Also the girls always really like spending time with their cousins and getting to play outdoors and run around. Being able to recharge our batteries means we come back ready to tackle the week ahead.
I hope you’re all having a fantastic Easter holiday!
Juggling a busy schedule, I always like to schedule weekends away to help recharge my batteries. Often we’ll head away as a family to our farm in the Southern Highlands, but sometimes Luke and I will head somewhere together for a little quality time. It’s always such an effective way to re-energise and recalibrate myself for the busyness to come. If you’re planning a long weekend here are my tips for making the most of some time away:
Pack something special
I always make sure that I pack something which is easy to wear but also something that makes me feel special. For me, going away is a time to experience new places and do something I wouldn’t usually do at home and this means wearing things I wouldn’t normally get to wear on a day to day basis.
So many times I have splashed out on an amazing dress for a special event and not known when to wear it again. A weekend away, is the perfect opportunity to re-wear these amazing pieces in a different environment.
My TOME shirt and skirt are a perfect set to take away because it is lightweight and easy to travel in for the car trip. Plus as they’re separates it’s easy to mix and match them with other pieces which means less to pack.
Stick to neutrals
The classic blue and white makes this outfit a winner to take away because it is easy to accessorise. Accessories are a must for short trips because it lets you change up the outfit depending on how the plans unfold. Switching between flats, heels and even sneakers allows an entirely new look for what I am wearing.
Try before you pack
It is important to try on the outfits before you go away to make sure that you pack a really tight edit of outfits. The more you plan, the less you have to pack as you won’t bring any unnecessary items. I always check that my outfit options will work with accessories such as the sunglasses and hats I pack to make sure I can wear things in multiple ways.
Bring a book
For most of us, time at home doesn’t lend itself to a lot of time spent reading because we’re all so busy. This is why I always pack a good book when I’m going away for the weekend as there is nothing better than lying in the sun with a book and getting lost in the pages.
Do your beauty prep before you go
I always make sure I have my hair done and nails painted if I am going away to ensure I’m beauty-ready for any occasion that may come up. My picks at the moment are OPI’S ‘Lost on Lombard’ and Bobbi Brown lipgloss.
When you get away, it is the perfect time to also indulge and pamper yourself and this includes catching up on beauty treatments. I have been using the KORA organics skin care range, which leaves my skin feeling so refreshed.
Pick an easy location
Luke and I pack the car early in the morning with the girls in tow and enjoy an easy ride to our getaway destination. From Sydney, one of my favourite short trips is to the Southern Highlands. It is a perfect way to escape a busy week and have a relaxing weekend.
Luke, Sophia, Grace and I like to make the most of weekends by doing something different and creating special memories together.
It’s not often you get to spend your working week hanging out in Paris, but that’s what I was lucky enough to be able to do over the the last few days. I was in the City of Light to celebrate the launch of the new Huawei P30 and spent my week taking in the sights from a cruise on the River Seine to visiting the breathtaking Palace of Versailles along with being able to take it all in with the help of my new gadget.
I’m always so thankful to be able to travel for work and this week was absolutely incredible. Being able to spend time in one of my favourite cities, sightseeing and indulging in many a great meal along with being invited to attend such a huge launch was definitely a pinch-me moment. Now to get back to normal…
This week I was lucky enough to be invited to the Huawei P30 global launch in Paris. The three day event was filled with exciting activities and one of the standouts for me was visiting the Palace of Versailles. I haven’t been there since I was a child so it was amazing to go back and see it again.
It’s spring time in Paris so when the sun is shining the weather can be warm so I opted for this Camilla and Marc mini dress. However the mornings and afternoons are quite cool so I teamed it with my Stuart Weitzman suede over-the-knee boots and my DVF red faux fur coat—both great layering pieces. I wanted to add extra shape to this look so I cinched it in with my black Isabel Marant belt. To accentuate the pink florals in the print on my dress so I decided on taking my pink Bulgari bag with body strap out for the day. It’s the perfect style of bag when you’re on the go traveling and sightseeing as it keeps your hands free and takes out the hassle of having to carry a bag around.
How’s your February going? I’ve been in the midst of attending lots of work events whilst also trying to squeeze in as much beach time with the girls before summer officially ends. That said, there have definitely been a few things that have caught my eye this month and made it onto my favourites list. I’ve rounded them up for you in case they end up becoming a new favourite for you too…
TDE personalised suitcase
I love The Daily Edited and have a range of great bags and accessories from them but I fell hard for their new range of carry on luggage. Not only is it great quality but the personalisation just gets me every time. And with my initials on my bag there’s no way I’m going to miss my suitcase when I’m in transit. Big tick of approval.
The Slow Mode ‘Cleopatra’s Bling Astrology’ earrings
I recently got these earrings from The Slow Mode and I’ve found them to be so versatile. I like that they’re a little bit quirky but are also simple enough to be able to wear with so many different looks. Plus I like the ethos behind the brand and how it focuses on working with artisans all turning their back on fast fashion and instead focussing on producing things consciously.
Benefit Precisely My Brow pencil
After my recent chat with Chloe Morello I’ve been all about my brows and discovering this pencil has been a game-changer. It’s so easy to use and the result is so natural. I also like the fact the tip is really fine so I can fill in my brows and end up with a really precise (hence the name) finish.
You on Netflix
I’m always on the look out for a new show to binge watch and heard about Penn Badgley’s new Netflix show so decided to check out it. Well, it had me on the edge of my seat. If you want a drama that has you gripped from beginning to end then I highly recommend checking it out.
We are always at the beach during summer so I’m always keeping an eye out for cute swimwear for the girls. Willow Swim’s range for kids is adorable and I love the fact that they come with sleeves for extra protection. I’ve got the above suit style for the girls and they both love them. I don’t like anything too loud when it comes to swimsuits so I like the subtle pastel shades and the cute prints.
At the end of last year we headed to Hawaii for a family holiday and it was such a great getaway for many reasons. It was obviously great to be able to spend time with my family and parents but there was so much to see and do that we never ran short of activities and as such it made having the kids in tow so much easier. The trip to get there was also relatively straightforward in that we weren’t dealing with changing planes or gruelling long haul flights so by the time we arrived we were ready to hit the ground running and make the most of our time there. If you’re planning to head over there yourself here are my favourite places to stay, eat and shop.
Where to stay
We stayed in Waikiki in Oahu and there are hotels aplenty to choose from. We ended up staying at the Halekulani which was great. It’s in a convenient location, has easy access to the beach and the rooms and property are stunning.
We also spent a few days at the Aulani Resort for the kids. It’s a Disney Resort & Spa so the girls absolutely loved it. There are characters like Mickey, Minnie and Moana walking around and whilst there are no rides there are plenty of pools and waterslides to keep little ones occupied. If you’re considering it, I’d recommend staying around 2-3 days.
Where to eat and drink
Even if you don’t stay at the Halekulani make a point of going to House Without A Key, which is an outdoor bar/restaurant on site. It’s a great vantage point to watch the sunset with live entertainment such as Hawaiian music and traditional dance. We did this every evening as it was a good spot to enjoy a drink and it’s kid-friendly too. Also try the Sunday buffet at Orchids which is also located at the Halekulani. It’s a good place to enjoy the water views and the food’s top notch. Be sure to book a table next to the grass so the kids can play.
Treat the kids one morning to the Disney Character Breakfast at the Aulani Resort. The Disney characters come out and sing around the tables so it will keep them entertained whilst you enjoy breakfast and a cup of coffee. ‘Ama’Ama which is also on site is also a nice restaurant option if you do decide to stay at the resort.
For a taste of home, head to Bills. We had brunch there nearly every day and it has the best coffee on the island. The atmosphere is really relaxed and the food is fantastic.
Senia was my favourite restaurant experience in Waikiki. It’s a 15 minute cab ride downtown so it’s a bit further out but the food was amazing and well worth the trip. There’s an a la carte menu but if you’re in the mood to indulge check out the degustation.
For a red meat fix, head to HY’s Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar. It’s had an old school feel with the waiters in tuxedos and the food is great. They also have live music on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday which is worth checking out.
Nobu is always a good spot for Japanese and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The restaurant has a great vibe and we definitely left with happy tummies.
Alan Wong’s is the spot to head for a taste of regional Hawaiian cuisine. The ingredients are sourced locally so everything is really tasty and fresh.
Where to shop
Ala Moana Center is the place to head for a retail fix. It’s an outdoor style mall with everything from high end designers like Chanel and Gucci to US department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus.
Along the main strip of Waikiki is Kalakaua Avenue and there’s store after store to check out including Tiffany & Co, Miu Miu and Saint Laurent. You’ll also find chain stores like Forever 21, Sephora and H&M so there’s a good mix to be found.
The Waikele Premium Outlets are a 30-minute drive from Honolulu and you can drive there or catch the bus, a taxi or book a seat on the shuttle bus. They have a range of outlet stores from different brands including Calvin Klein, Tory Burch and Ralph Lauren.
Have you been to Hawaii? What are some of your fave spots?
I’ve been lucky enough to go on a few trips this year and each time I try and streamline my packing even more. When I travel I try and keep my luggage as light as possible. I stick to one bag so I have to be really strategic in what I pack and how I pack so I can take all my essentials with me without having to deal with excess baggage. It’s about being practical and also a bit ruthless when deciding what to cull and keep as I want to know that I’ll be able to wear all the pieces I take and not have any that are just taking up unnecessary space.
So here are my golden rules for holiday packing…
Mix and match
It’s all about bringing separates and mixing and matching that way I can take a few items and just rework them for different looks. For example I’ll take a leather skirt which I can then wear with a nice black evening top and it’s fine to go out for night or I can wear it with a white t-shirt and sandals, sneakers or slides and I can wear it throughout the day. It’s all about finding items that are versatile.
Take one versatile LBD
I always take a little black dress because it can be worn with a pair of great flats but can be dressed up in the evening with a pair of heels so it has versatility. Bringing items that are versatile and can be worn more than one way is key to avoiding overpacking too many things.
Limit the number of shoes you take
As for shoes, I pack a pair of sneakers which I can wear while sightseeing and I also take one or two statement heels that can be mixed and matched with different outfits. If you’re going on a tropical holiday obviously a great pair of sandals is a must.
When I’m packing I lay everything flat as I find it takes up less room. And I stick to only one bag. This is especially true when I’m travelling with the kids and they end up having to take so many things with them—I want to take the least amount with me as possible to make it easier.
Minimise beauty products
As far as beauty goes I definitely always take a great sunscreen, a bronzer, cleanser, a good lip balm, mascara, and makeup remover. And I go with nude nails so I don’t have to keep worrying about them while I’m away.
Always take spare clothes
Having lost my luggage too many times to count I take a change of clothes in case my luggage gets lost and I take items that I can’t lose in my carry-on bag. I also always take my makeup with me just in case.
Go for comfort
Comfort is key on the plane and my fave plane outfit is skinny leg jeans, a pair of loafers or sneakers, a loose v-neck white tee and a leather jacket and my favourite Louis Vuitton wrap scarf in case it gets cold. Plus I always take a nice roomy tote carry all my essentials.
It’s not everyday that you are lucky enough to be invited to spend the weekend at Qualia Resort in Hamilton Island so when the offer arrives you drop everything and go. Luke and I received an invitation to enjoy two glorious nights at Qualia along with the amazing opportunity to watch an outdoor performance by The Australian Ballet at the resort. I think we’d already packed our bags before we had a chance to accept!
We flew out on Friday morning and arrived just in time to enjoy a drinks over a leisurely lunch. Our first day involved a relaxing afternoon followed by drinks and canapés hosted by the Oatley family who own and founded Qualia and The Australian Ballet. We also had the opportunity to check out an exhibition by award winning photographer Justin Ridler which was a great way to cap off a lovely day.
The highlight of the entire weekend was without a doubt being able to watch The Australian Ballet’s production Pas de deux in paradise, which is an annual outdoor performance held at Qualia’s Pebble Beach. The entire event takes place during a black tie dinner and was without a doubt something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. The experience of being able to watch the dancers on stage whilst enjoying a delicious meal at one of the most gorgeous beaches in the world as the sun slowly set was pure magic and definitely bucket list material.
Given we don’t get to spend many weekends kid-free Luke and I took advantage of the situation and tried to cram as much relaxation as we could into our time away. Our villa with its own plunge pool was the ideal setting for some much needed down time, but the leafy picturesque surrounds of Qualia also provided the perfect backdrop for a calm, relaxing time whether were enjoying breakfast or taking the personal golf buggy we had during our stay for a spin around the grounds. We ate, we chilled out, were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime ballet experience and had the most beautiful time away. I can’t wait to come back again because Qualia really is the kind of place that once you visit you’ll want to plan your next stay as soon as you can.
Luke and I on our first night at Qualia
With my good friend Nadia Fairfax who was also invited to spend the weekend
Black tie ready for The Australian Ballet’s performance of Pas de deux in paradise
I was in white, Luke was in a tux, it seemed only fitting!