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travel

Fashion

What to pack for a European summer holiday

18th July, 2019

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.

Dress up!

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.

Separates are a great due to their versatility

Think versatility

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.

Pack separates

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.

This is one of my go-to bags to take overseas – tiny, multi-purpose and chic

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.

Fashion, Lifestyle & Social

My week on Instagram

14th July, 2019

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!

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Lifestyle, Lifestyle & Social

An easy family beach getaway that you don’t have to leave Australia for

11th July, 2019
Going on a walk around the resort with Sophia and Grace

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.

Sophia and I walking around the resort
Sophia and Luke at breakfast

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.

With the girls on Whitehaven Beach
Seeing the sights in the air

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.

Happy parents!
Fashion, Shop, What I Wore

What I Wore: Daydream Island Launch

25th June, 2019

Attending the official opening of Daydream Island called for something fun, vibrant and bright! Enter this amazing co-ord set by Toni Maticevski. The gorgeous chartreuse shade was the ideal option for such an event as not only was it a nod to the sunshine and tropical weather of the location but it’s the perfect punchy colour that’s just made for party dressing. I’ve worn designs by Maticevski before and the one thing I love about them is that everything is guaranteed to have a knock out feature. In this instance the cascading ruffles on the skirt and the asymmetrical statement sleeve on the crop top.

For a look that’s already so bold I didn’t really need to go overboard with accessories. I opted for a simple, minimalist nude heels and a white statement clutch with embellishment for a bit of fun. As I was wearing my hair in a side swept style with accompanying florals, it was the perfect opportunity to show off some great statement baubles. These pearl drop earrings by Reliquia were just the thing and so perfect for the event.

Arriving at the event with Luke
Myself with Lincoln Lewis and Phoebe Burgess
With Phoebe Burgess
Enjoying the evening with Luke

Shop the Look:

Top: Flaunt Sleeve Bodice in Chartreuse Yellow, Maticevski

Skirt: Basque Ruffle Skirt in Chartreuse Yellow, Maticevski

Shoes: Kosumi Milk Denver Heels, Tony Bianco

Earrings: Cocoon Earrings, Reliquia Jewellery

Fashion

My week on Instagram

23rd June, 2019

Escaping the cold Sydney weather to Daydream Island has been such a great trip for Luke, Sophia, Grace and I. The girls have absolutely loved exploring the resort and everything has been so family-friendly too. Checking out the Living Reef where the girls were able to feed the stingrays was a definite highlight for the kids and so educational too.

If you’re looking for a little beauty inspo, don’t forget to check out my post sharing all my looks from Fashion Week. One of my fave makeup artists Michael Brown did all my makeup for the week and has shared how he achieved each look and what products he used.

Hope you all have a great week!

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Fashion, Shop, What I Wore

What I Wore: Daydream Island

18th June, 2019

Escaping from the cold Sydney weather to go on a family holiday to Daydream Island the past week enabled me to shed my winter woolies (even if it was just a few days) for easy breezy resort wear dressing, which I’ve always got a soft spot for.

I always try and take a tight edit of clothes whenever I’m going away so I like to take pieces that are versatile and can work for day and night. This striped shirt dress by Camilla and Marc was a great option for me as I could wear it casually whilst playing with the girls and dress it up a bit for dinner. I loved the polished feel of it and as it was so lightweight it was perfect for the warmer temperatures up north.

Slides are always my number one footwear choice whenever I’m going somewhere warm as they’re comfortable and chic and keep me cool all at the same time. I’ve been wanting to wear these Dior slides for ever so long and was glad to finally have the chance to do so.

Whilst straw bags are still going strong throughout winter they’re especially perfect for anywhere tropical so this Sparrows Weave top handle bag felt right at home around the resort. Topped off with white Emma Mulholland sunglasses, I was ready for whatever the day had in store.

Shop the look:

Dress: Zeta dress (Similar), Camilla and Marc

Shoes: Dway Mule in Embroidered Cotton, Dior

Sunglasses: Emma Mulholland

Bag: The Round Wicker and Leather Top Handle Bag, Sparrows Weave 

Shop the look on a budget:

Fashion & Beauty, Lifestyle, Lifestyle & Social, Social

My week on Instagram

16th June, 2019

There are worse ways to spend a week than jetting off to a tropical island but that’s exactly how I’ve spent the last few days. I was lucky enough to be invited to spend a week at Daydream Island with Luke and the girls. Along with being able to enjoy the beach and sunshine, I was also thrilled to work on an exciting shoot to coincide with my new ambassadorship for the resort. I had a great time shooting around the beautiful property and can’t wait to reveal more. It’s safe to say this has definitely one of the more fun and relaxing weeks I’ve had on the job!

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByuSbGXAJdr/
Fashion

A girls’ trip in Orange: what to eat, see and shop

6th June, 2019
Private tour and wine tasting at Ross Hill Wines

I always love a road trip out of Sydney as it’s a great way to relax and have a change of scenery. This time around I went on a girls’ getaway with my friends Nadia Fairfax and Yan Yan Chan. We were lucky enough to be invited by Destination NSW and the city of Orange to experience everything this lovely regional city has to offer. After a busy few days at Fashion Week last month we decided to take them up on their offer and head off for a few days of rest and relaxation and some girl time. Orange is around a 3.5 – 4 hour drive out of Sydney so we all jumped in my car and headed off on a Tuesday morning. We definitely could have used more than three days enjoying the city but here’s my list of the best places to see, eat and shop.

Where we stayed

We stayed at The White Place House which is a gorgeous heritage cottage within walking distance to the Orange CBD. It’s always good to be in such close proximity to the action so we loved how central our accommodation was. Whenever I rent a house when I’m travelling I always inevitably see something whether it be a beautiful trinket or a luxe blanket that I really want to take home, so I was rather pleased to find that The White Place House has a store which sold an edit of the furnishings in our cottage. I may have taken home a souvenir…

The dreamy interiors inside The White Place House
SO much interiors inspo

Where to eat

It was my first time to visit Orange and one of the great things I discovered is that they’ve got a thriving food scene so we were really spoilt for choice as far as restaurants and cafes went. We checked out Orange’s hot new restaurant Charred Kitchen & Bar which uses local produce and cooks everything up in a wood and charcoal oven (their wine list also won an award from Gourmet Traveller Wine) and Mr Lim Korean and Chinese Diner where we enjoyed a great dinner and even better cocktails. I always like to scope out a good cafe whenever I arrive in a new town and we particularly rated Groundstone which is a Scandi-inspired cafe with good food and the coffee was awesome. Also Byng Street Local Store is a fave of locals (always a good sign) and we enjoyed a lovely breakfast there one morning. If picturesque surrounds are your thing make a point of sitting down to lunch at Racine Restaurant—it overlooks a vineyard and view is to die for.

Dinner at Charred Kitchen & Bar
Drinks at Mr Lim
Breakfast at Groundstone

What to do

If you’re into wine Orange is definitely the place to be as they have so many incredible vineyards. We enjoyed a private wine tour and tasting at Ross Hill Wines which is always a nice way to while away a few hours. Also we paid a visit to Heifer Station Wines where we were able to ride bikes and prune the vines and also sit down for a relaxing cheese and charcuterie picnic. Another spot I’d highly recommend is Swinging Bridge Wine where we also enjoyed a wine tasting and Rowlee Wines where we were lucky enough to enjoy a private tour of the estate. And don’t miss grabbing a drink at Ferment in the Orange Wine Centre which is both a wine store and tasting room.

If you’re in the mood for something active do the bushwalk to Federal Falls. It’s a 4km loop track that starts and ends at Federal Falls campground. You’ll pass through lots of tranquil scenery but the enormous rock faces we saw were a definite highlight. Get up early then reward yourself with a delicious breakfast at one of the local cafes for all that exercise!

Picnic at Heifer Station Wines
Pre-dinner drinks at Ferment
Making friends at Rowlee Wines

Where to shop

The girls and I had to check out the local shopping scene of course, and stumbled across a few gems. The Sonic is a must if you’re after beautiful, unique homewares, they also have a good edit of clothing that’s worth checking out. We also popped into Angus Barrett Saddlery & Leather Goods which has some amazing hand-crafted leather goods such as belts and bags. Hawkes General Store was another spot we liked, they had a great selection of clothes, shoes and accessories and really cute kids’ clothes.

Nothing better than a girls’ trip

This post was produced in collaboration with Destination NSW and Orange360

Fashion, Fashion & Beauty, What I Wore

What I Wore: Orange

28th May, 2019

On a recent girls’ trip to Orange, we had quite a varied itinerary from checking out vineyards one minute to dinner and drinks the next so I needed to take the kind of pieces with me that could work for different occasions. Enter this checked Hansen and Gretel dress. The fitted silhouette and maxi length meant it looked quite polished and on the dressier side, but when I paired it with a pair of sneakers all of a sudden it had a more casual feel. As a bonus it was comfy enough to ride a bike in! I’m definitely on board with any dress that’s so versatile. 

I think accessories are key when you want to dress a look up or down and in this instance I opted for silver Gucci sneakers. They’re casual being sneakers and all but in a metallic shade I think they’ve got a more elevated feel. By incorporating some of my go-to jewellery, particularly my absolute fave gold necklace, I feel that it helped tie the look together and give it a polished vibe. 

Credits: Dress, Hansen and Gretel; Sneakers (similar here), Gucci

Photography Ashleigh Larden

Fashion

Why good luggage is worth investing in

27th May, 2019

When it comes to travelling often we’ll prioritise a lot of things such as where we stay and the airline we fly with but more often than not, for most people however, luggage is far down on the list of priorities. If you think about it though, it’s one of the things that’s always with you on a trip and it’s what you use to carry all your essentials so it’s one area where you shouldn’t compromise on quality. You don’t want to have to deal with broken luggage when you’re running late for a flight or navigating the streets of a foreign city with a dodgy wheel or broken handle.

If you ask plenty of seasoned travellers they’ll say that it was worth investing in good luggage, if only for the fact it saves you from the drama of dealing with luggage that doesn’t work. So before you splash out on your next suitcase here are a few things to keep in mind:

What material is it made from

Your options usually involve a soft suitcase or hard suitcase. Soft suitcases are usually made of leather or nylon whilst hard cases are usually made from plastic or metal. Consider pros and cons like the fact that while leather may be sturdy it could also show more scratches over time whilst plastic is lightweight but it can also be vulnerable to cracking.

Examine the stitching

The stitching on a suitcase is important to its longevity. Ensure that there is double or reinforced stitching and that it looks neat and tidy— you don’t wan subpar stitching that will come apart at the first hint of pressure (which is inevitable given how much we generally try to cram into our luggage).

Look at the hardware

Test out any zippers by opening and closing them a few times to ensure it glides smoothly and doesn’t snag. Also check that the zips sit evenly and there’s no puckering in the fabric. Be sure to test the locks as well to make sure that it shuts completely and opens quite easily.

Check the reviews

It’s important to do your research before purchasing a particular brand of luggage. Read the reviews about each brand to see what people are saying. Investigate popular brands at various price points like Samsonite and American Tourister, Tumi and Rimowa to find out what works best for you and fits into your budget.