Easter Sunday Look Book

Anyone who grew up in the Church would tell you that Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day somewhat resemble an exotic fashion Show in Milan. Whether it be polished shoes, manicured nails, perfectly placed hair or exquisite gowns; Easter Sunday is always a time of celebration, family and putting the regular ‘Sunday best’ to shame.

Well versed and knowing this will be the case, I sought to outfit my old-world conservative lace tier dress with youthful accessories to create a playful, yet Church appropriate look.

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Shop my look:

Seed Heritage Lace Tier Dress

Gucci Blooms 

Hugo Boss Nude Shoes

Longines PrimaLuna L8.110.4.87.6

MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick

Wishing all a happy and safe Easter!

Disclaimer: well-aware that the canines pictured are by far the best accessories to any outfit.

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Hacks to Save Money When Travelling in Europe

  1. Find a Geographical Focus

It is easy, if not natural, to get wrapped up in the excitement of endless possibilities when planning your voyage throughout Europe. When considering what historic streets and enchanted cities you want to roam, many look solely at the well-loved destinations such as Paris, London (although no longer in the European Union), Milan, Rome. Whilst some do jet-set from corner to corner of Europe to experience major cities, it is imperative to be methodical and geographically focused when planning your route.

My best friend and I ran into this issue whilst booking our voyage.

We had both visited different countries respectively and neither of us were willing to overlook unseen cities for those that were familiar. In out attempts of working around said issue, it became apparent that we would have to invest thousands upon thousands for a few weeks of travel to jet-set throughout Europe.

AUSTRIA>LODZ>WARSAW>KRAKOW>BUDAPEST>ZAGREB>SPLIT>HVAR>ZDAR>

DUBROVNIK>KORCULA>PRAGUE>AUSTRALIA

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In retrospect, our excitement and naivety led us to making inefficient decisions that lost us valuable time and wads of cash. What is painfully apparent is that you cannot see all of Europe at once, and to be frank, you probably shouldn’t either. If you are lucky enough to do so, travel at multiple stages throughout your life, when you have different passions, interests and desires.

If you, like us, have no idea where to start and how to determine what the natural route of travel is, I recommend referring to established bus and train routes to grasp the most efficient way of seeing as many cities as you can.

2. Stay Central and Travel by Foot

An ethos I have worked by throughout all my trips domestic and abroad. Whilst residing in
central city locations can be on the pricier side, savings from not using public transport, taxis and ride-sharing services should be accounted for in the price of your central location.

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3.  Continental Breakfasts 

The gift that keeps on giving.

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I am yet to stay at a hotel or hostel in Europe that does not provide a continental breakfast,complimentary or not. A sneaky penny saving tactic that I have used in the past is packing lunch on the go at the breakfast bar.

A simple ziplock bag can house a sumptuous rustic sandwich made with fresh and healthy product, too often overlooked whilst travelling.

In doing so, I am unashamed to have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars with packed lunches.

4.  Travel with Countries not on the Euro

Exchange rates can be a make or break when travelling on a tight budget. Eastern European nation such as Poland, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania that have a favourable exchange rate in comparison to the AUD/US Dollar/Pound will not drain your pockets and accounts.

Note: Strong economies that do not adhere to the Euro currency, such as Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and the UK can be onerous on the back pocket. 

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5. Pack a Flask

No, not that type of flask.

I mean, each to their own but that’s not what I’m referring to.

A trick I recently learnt on my cruise is to take a lightweight flask that can maintain theh999bu078_t2-stainless-steel-flask-lilac_r1
warmth of tea or coffee for the duration of the day. Whilst some may see this as a ludicrous proposition, for someone like me who drinks 5+ cups of
tea daily, I can save on average $700AUD within the month of travel.

6. Beauty Maintenance 

Calling it out for what it is, beauty maintenance services in travel hubs is the equivalent of a daylight robbery.

Forget the gypsies and pick-picketers, the lay-traveller should fear the beautician and how much he/she will charge you.

Every time I return to Europe, I learn the hard way (over and over again) that shellac is not anywhere near as popular and affordable as it is in Australia.

Whilst I am consistent with my fortnightly shellac maintenance, affording that same maintenance overseas makes me feel like I’ve sold my soul for a fresh pair of non-cuticle, coloured claws. For the sake of your monobrow, nails, spirit and account – tick a pair of tweezers, a bottle of nail polish and hair treatments off your ‘to pack‘ list.

7. Be an Aware Passenger (Taxis)

Before departing for Budapest, I was advised by fellow travellers that the taxi-drivers in Eastern Europe are notoriously known for ripping tourists off. I, ever the optimist, paid little attention to the advice offered to me, being:

A. Familiarise yourself with the rate of the side of the taxi.
B. Ask the driver whether they can estimate how much the fare will come to, and/or whether they are willing to establish a set price before the meter begins.
C. If all else fails, bargain with different drivers until you are offered a reasonable price.

Even with this advice, we were ripped off and charged a ridiculous amount for a 10 minute adventure. Ironically, the driver who was perfectly competent in the english language and conversed with us throughout the whole journey, claimed there was a language barrier when we questioned the final fare cost charged.

8. Hop-on-Hop-off Buses

2016 was the year of the hop-on-hop-off adventures. The amount I crammed into a limited amount of time stands testament to how fantastic these services truly are.

The beauty of the hop-on-hop-off service is that it is tailored to facilitate the ‘go-to’ placed for tourists whilst still allowing the option to sight-see solo.

When I sit and calculate how much time, effort and money would be funnelled into catching public transport and hiring a tour guide, it is evident that these services are both efficient and economical.

9. Travel Insurance

Need I say more?

You are potentially saving yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars if one of your adventures turns pear-shaped.

In the meantime, happy travelling!

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February Favourites

Fashion

1.  Dior Tribal Earrings

The En Dior Tribale earrings have quickly established themselves as a staple piece of every bloggers wardrobe. For that specific reason, I vowed to never show interest in the seemingly over-hyped pair of earrings. Whilst I am a huge pearl enthusiast, I like many was unwilling to look past unbranded accessories that exhibited great craftsmanship and individuality, for mass-produced pieces that are not even freshwater pearls.

My stoic attitude was however challenged by one of my favourite bloggers Lydia Elise Millen, as she unboxed a stunning sterling silver pair of Tribal Earrings from Paris, with an unrivalled intricate design. From there on, I could not get the less common tribal earrings designs out of my mind, helplessly watching the items sell for ludicrous prices on the consignment market. For that reason I decided to invest when I had the opportunity and jump on the tribal bandwagon…and I have not looked back since!

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2. Gucci GG Blooms Continental Wallet
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As exhibited in my previous posts, the GG Blooms print truly is the apple of my eye. With that in mind, let’s not act surprised that I am insanely in love with my GG Blooms Continental ‘Zip Around’ Wallet.

Even though fashions are moving away from continental wallets towards sleeker card cases, I proudly rock my floral beauty like a nana with her decades old fur jacket – wearing it without a care.

If you are on the market for a sturdy canvas wallet that can be utilised as a clutch (and that isn’t sported by every Tom, Dick and Jane) – I would unreservedly recommend this piece.

3. Zoe Wittner – Clide Shoes

Quite literally my ‘go-to‘ shoe.

Work? Clide.

Date night? Clide.

Mountain walk? Clide.

Wedding? Clide.

Funeral? Clide.

Okay, perhaps exaggerated slightly, but nevertheless these shoes scream Aquazzura vibes to me (minus that painful Aquazzura price tag) ! This attention grabbing pair is always the focal part of conversations, and/or outfit. After spending a day in the city shopping with my mother, she came to the opinion that women and other on passers spent more time staring at my shoes than they did anything else. They are the perfect comfort sandal, with a durable suede lining, paired with that certain pazazz you do not often see in high street.

My love runs deep for them, so much so that I returned to purchase the style in all provided colours – not even sorry!

Beauty

1.  Guerlain ‘Rouge G de Guerlain’ Lipsticks

Guerlain is a brand I always wanted to try, but somehow never got around to (like most things in my life). Hearing esteemed lifestyle bloggers rave about the velvety and luxurious pigment of the lipsticks made me instantly lust for one of my own. As if that wasn’t enough, the heritage of the company had me swooning unimaginably, with the House of Guerlain was founded in 1828, when Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain opened his perfume store at 42 in Paris.

I finally took the leap into Guerlain, and have not looked back since.

The two colors I can not get enough of are the Orgueil M69 and Luxure M27 (pictured below). As someone who rarely stray from my holy grail nude shades, and in the rare occurrence that I do it is to sport another nude, these shades are a well needed sophisticated nighttime shade.

2. Omorovicza Skincare

I first encountered Omorovicza products in Mecca Cosmetica and to be blatantly honest, the moment I heard of the process behind the product, the efforts chemists went to and the active ingredients, I was listening.

The moment they told me the story of Margaret and Stephen, the founders of the product, they had my attention.

Fast forward to the early days of this century Margaret and Stephen met in Budapest. Stephen took his future wife on a tour of Hungary and their first stop? The thermal baths. Here, they were amazed at the transformation of their skin and so enlisted the help of a Nobel prize-winning laboratory to harness these healing waters into a pioneering new luxury skincare range, using Hydro Mineral Transference.

Origins of Omorovicza

The moment they told me the product originated from Budapest – I was sold.

Irrespective of the product packaging, indifferent to the scent and/or the popularity, Omorovicza is by far the best skincare I have ever used (finally, something knocking Clinique Anti-Blemish Solution Review off it’s pedestal).

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3. MECCA COSMETICA (store)

Okay, so, newsflash to everyone else out there who like me, didn’t know that Mecca
a does not purely specialise in makeup (Mecca Maxima), but also in skincare!

Further to that, I can hand on heart attest to the fact that I have never been so impressed with the sales assistants as I was in Mecca Cosmetica. After wandering aimlessly into The Galleries store, I was so thankful to have met a brilliant sales person named Alma who spent in excess of an hour with me, discussing the heritage, stories and skincare products within the store. What struck me was how much knowledge these women possessed and the inconceivable passion they had for exceptional product and helping
clients with their skin needs.

I will be hard pressed to shop anywhere else for my skincare needs from now on. Through old fashioned customer service, I will happily blow the trumpet and be an ambassador for Mecca Cosmetica. If you too feel like you are wasting hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on ineffective creams – head into your nearest Mecca Cosmetica and merely ask for help.

4. Carolina Herrera, Good Girl

My first encounter with this scent was in the duty-free shopping of the Pacific Jewel.
From that first whiff, I could not get the flirtatious fragrance out of my head, so much so that I woke up the next day knowing that I could not resist brining the stiletto shaped bottle home. Carolina Herrera’s new fragrance is a delicate balance between sweet floral scents and deep sexy undertones.

5. Priceline Hair Care ‘Goody Bag’

This month Priceline offered customers a ‘Goody Bag‘ with product amounting to $260 when customers spent $50 on hair care products.  This bag consisted of various full-sized products which to my surprise were of impeccable quality and value.

Miscellaneous

1. 7/11 Iced Coffee

At the risk of sounding like a ‘BB’, iced coffee is the man-kinds greatest creation since sliced bread.

Why not enjoy a guilt free iced coffee that will only set you back $2, in comparison to cafes that will end up being a robbery by daylight?

2. ECOYA White Peach & Orange Blossom Reed Diffuser

As an appreciator of all scents peach, it seems fitting that my room constantly smell of sweet citrus!

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3. Spotify – Sleep Playlist

I am still unaware of what the third track on the playlist is… I am always in a peaceful slumber by that stage.

4. T2 Tea Flask

I was lucky enough to be gifted the much anticipated tea flask for Valentine’s Day. H999BU078_t2-stainless-steel-flask-lilac_r1.jpgWhilst I was advised that the tea will stay hot for 6-8 hours, a claim that I was sceptical about, I found that tea could stay hot for much longer. I can confirm that these claims are not mere puff and they are completely and unreservedly worth the money.

My flask was my number one item used on my recent cruise, addressed in Travel Tips & Tricks: Cruises. A stunning gift and addition for anyone who loves there tea anywhere near as much as I do.

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Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day has always been a special event in my eyes. Albeit, I acknowledge that the day to many is merely driven by consumerism and Hallmark’s advertising team. To me on the other hand, it is a day of love, celebration, sentiment, romance and perhaps a cheeky rose or two!

My partner, ever the romantic, outdid himself this year.

Leading up to the big day, I pitied my lover and the mammoth task set-out for him of beating last years celebrations. Needless to say I was touched that he organized a stunning hot air balloon ride for us to experience sunrise together, followed by a buffet breakfast, an intimate picnic lunch and dinner at the location we had our first date.

Safe to say he has his work cut out for him next year!

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Whilst I appreciate that I am incredibly lucky, everyone has experienced a lonely and painful valentine’s day. For that exact reason, I think it is incredibly important to think of both your friends and family and what their experience of valentine’s day will be like.

Whether it be a simple text letting them know that they are in your thoughts, a coffee catch-up throughout the day, attending an anti-valentine’s day event with them or gifting a basket of goodies that you know they would appreciate – it’s important to think outside of merely your romantic relationship and show platonic love to those who also matter to you!

Sending love to all this valentine’s day,

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Luxury Addict Tag

As a lover of luxury goods, evident within my previous luxury goods post, I thought it about time to publish my ‘Luxury Addict Tag’ post.

1. What was your first designer piece?

My buy-in luxury brands was the Australian label, Oroton.

From the ages of sixteen until eighteen (16-18), I accumulated a vast array of both bags and small leather goods (SLG’s) from the company. Luckily, Oroton have not deviated from their style roots, meaning my bags are still trendy and easily recognisable.

My first ‘international designer’ purchase was the Gucci GG Blooms Pouch (as pictured in Work Christmas Party Outfit).

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2. What do you consider your best investment?

In accordance with the cost-per-wear formula (described in Buying into IMG_3477.JPGLuxury?), my Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 in Damier Ebene has paid off exponentially. I use the traditional luggage piece as an everyday bag, a travel bag, an overnight bag and anything in between.

Whilst the Speedy is a common bag that near every Tom, Dick and Jane of the luxury community have, I appreciate the durability, the agreeable price point (in comparison to other bags) and how versatile the design is.

However, if I were to apply a traditional ‘investment’ approach, whereby I consider whether I can resell my bag after it has appreciated in value, my Louis Vuitton Capucines MM in Noir was a fantastic purchase. Whilst I somewhat regret not choosing the Capucines in the BB size, I appreciate this bag is considered to be the new ‘it’ icon bag for the company.

The signature bag may look simple, but it’s anything but. The bag is a marriage of two leathers: rounded, strong bull-calf leather alongside supple, silky calfskin. The combination adds a level of discreet elegance that is hard to ignore.

Consumers have turned away from monograms as a whole, from luxury designers and contemporary brands like Coach alike, and clearly Louis Vuitton listens to its shoppesr. Sure, some may still want to buy the classic monogram bags, but many prefer the timeless elegance that remains part of the brand’s heritage.

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Considering Louis Vuitton is arguably attempting to incorporate higher price point bags that compete with designers such as Chanel, I would not be surprised in Louis Vuitton introduces price rises at corresponding times.

3. What is your criteria when looking to buy a piece?

Questions that I pose to myself when looking at a possible addition to my wardrobe, are as follows:

  1. Determine whether this item is a trend driven piece (if so, does the trend correspond with my long-term personal style?)
  2. How versatile is this piece and can it be worn with your current wardrobe?
  3. What are the main materials of the potential purchase? Personally if I am paying more than $500 for an item, it generally will have to be leather (with the obvious exception of the Speedy 35).
  4. How are the finishes of the item – is their attention to detail? is the stitching neat? is there fraying? how will the item wear over time?
  5. What or who inspired you to consider the item? If it is an individual who you idealise, are you merely interested because you appreciate their personal style?
  6. What will the cost-per-wear be?
  7. Does the item fit into your lifestyle? For example, my lifestyle does not allow for micro or small bags. As a result, it would be a waste to purchase smaller bags.
  8. Are you genuinely passionate about this item?
  9. Question whether you are merely interested in the item because of the brand? If you removed the logo, would you appreciate the raw design?

4. What has been your stupidest/most regrettable purchase?

$200 aud (two-hundred dollars)  for a gold-plated glass ring. Yes, I was foolish img-thingenough to spend that type of money for the Yves Saint Laurent Arty Ring.

In my defence, I purchased the ring as I knew demand for the discontinued ring would rise, so why not purchase the ring second-hand, from a reputable seller who was offering a receipt.

I distinctly recall being underwhelmed when I opened the postage box. Thankfully, I did not struggle to re-sell the ring, although I broke-even on the purchase.

My second most regrettable purchase was the Louis Vuitton Trunks Bandeau in Rose Poudre.

Whilst Bandeaus/Twillies are glorified in the luxury lovers community, I regret purchasing mine for the simple fact that I struggle to justify $220 aud (two-hundred and twenty dollars) on a strip of fabric.

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5. If you have sold any of your luxury goods, have you ever had sellers regret?

Yes. I hope to God that my mother never stumbles across this tag and reads this response, otherwise I will be instructed to move out.

I frequently list my luxury goods online to recycle my funds to newer and more desirable products. However, there was a huge error of judgement when I both listed and sold a Louis Vuitton backpack that my mother passed down to me. After purchasing the classic monogram bag from a second-hand store in the early 2000’s, my mother never used the bag. During a wardrobe clean-out, my mother gave me the bag to wear. Unbeknown to me, the bag was actually an authentic piece that retails on the luxury second hand market from $800-$2,000 aud. Unfortunately, I sold the piece at a slight fraction of that cost, with the belief that it was a replica piece.

Sorry mum.

I still kick myself about that decision. As a result, I ensure that I engage a certified authenticator before I sell luxury goods that are vintage, or purchased and resold on the second-hand market.
6. What is a piece that you think everyone needs/should have?

I am not a great believer in dictating what material goods people should or shouldn’t have, as luxury goods are just that – an opt-in, opt-out system.

However, I do strongly recommend hot-stamped leather goods, such as those from The Daily Edited (TDE) or Monpurse.

Whilst some may not see these small leather goods (SLG’s) as ‘luxury’, the concept of luxury is highly subjective. I personally conceptualise hot-stamped leather goods as luxury items, as you would not be hard pressed to find similar items, that are of similar quality (without inscriptions) at a significantly lower price. My previous blog post, titled Personalising a Trend: Monogram, further details why monogram leather should be on every luxury lover’s radar.

7. What is a piece that you think is over-hyped?

I echo the sentiments of near all YouTubers and bloggers who have answered this question – anything that is commonly peddled by bloggers and online influencers tend to be over-hyped.

The Gucci Dionysus, Celine Trio and Chloe Faye are some examples of bags I would veer away from.

Further, I would not recommend investing in Louboutin. I struggle to reconcile a designer who openly affirms that these expensive shoes are not to be worn frequently. On the basis of both comfort and your hip-pocket – veer away.

8. What is next on your wish list?

I adore and have been eyeing off the Zimmermann Circular Link bag. What I appreciate most is the quality of the leather, the attention to detail with the finish and the fact that I am yet to see another sporting this bag.

Further, I am seriously considering the Valentino Rockstud Heel. Whilst I
recognise that I am incredibly late to the Valentino party and that to some they are so ‘three seasons ago’, I would love to expand my luxury shoe collection with these beauties.

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The Apprehensive Blogger: Failure & Embarrassment?

I can still recall the myriad of emotions I felt when my first year ‘Media and Communications’ tutor proclaimed, “You will be required to start a blog. You will be solely accountable for that blog. You are to post content regularly on said blog. Your blog is assessable.”

EXHILIRATION?!

….

CURIOSITY?!

UNEASYNESS?!

..

Embarrassment!

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As a self-professed lover of all things blogging, vlogging and everything in between, I willingly spend hours on end watching beautiful women apply their makeup with precision and skill that I will never grasp, indulging in the lifestyle of luxury bloggers and shamelessly seeking ‘whats in my bag/purse‘ posts.

The directions of my tutor on that particular day, filled me with excitement at the prospect of being the new ‘it‘ girls. I indulged my imagination, as it ran wild with images of me sharing my passions and quirks online, with an audience of adoring followers.

That wishful foresight  was cut short by a rude moment of awakening.

You’re a law student.

You will be a lawyer.

You could be a diplomat, or a politician.

One day, you might have kids, or worse –

clients.”

I quickly feared the process of blogging and approached each assigned post with great apprehension. Before hitting that all important ‘publish’ button, I would run (and re-run) through my posts, to ensure I did not disclose too much information, that my arguments held some academic rigour, that there was no apparent political or ideological bias and most importantly, to ensure I crossed every ‘T’ and dotted every ‘I’.

Blogging soon became something I would do solely for my assessing teacher, and not for other young men and women, who I identified with. My work was sporadic – at times without content for months on end.I would not dare share my posts with my Facebook, Twitter, Linked In or Instagram community. I would not divulge that an online page hosted my innermost workings and ideas. My personal and professional life were diagonal from one another and I had no intention of those two areas of my life ever meeting.The fear of failing for all to see on the world-wide-web, or hurriedly publishing something that could forever affect my life pacified my instinct to write the kind of content that I love to read.

At the end of the day, I came to the determination:

& so what if I fail? 

So what, if God forbid, people, future children or clients, come to the realisation that I am human!

At the end of the day it is important to grasp onto the things you love and hobbies you develop. Life is more than just the daily grind, paying bills and other menial tasks. Every individual has light and shade to their being and it is not fair to paint all professionals with one brush. Humans are multifaceted. We are more than just a name, age, postcode or profession.

Whilst someday I hope, like many others do, to reach my goals as a career person – that does not mean that I can not write about fashion, lifestyle, the lessons life teaches (usually the hard way) and of course, social commentary.

I remember sniggering when peers began ‘fashion blogs’ and wrote endlessly about what lipstick shades are most appropriate for the autumnal seasons. Whilst I rolled my eyes in public, behind closed doors I was proud and in awe of the bravery and go-getter attitude my peers exhibited. After all, the bloggers and vloggers whose every word I cling on to, such as Lydia Elise Millen and The Sydney Fashion Blogger, did not miraculously become successful overnight. I am certain people laughed at them. I do not doubt that friends and colleagues questioned why they were wasting their time. The quality of their posts, photographs and content would have been dismal when they began.

So why not give it a red-hot go?

What do you, or I, have to lose?

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