Thursday, 23 October 2014

Australia, week two: Sydney

We arrived in Sydney on Friday 17th October and stayed at the 1888 hotel in Pyrmont. We booked this hotel through ebookers as we found a discount code that you could use if you booked through the app. It was a fantastic hotel, incredibly chic, denim shirts were the staff uniform and every room has an iPad! Something we didn't realise was that Pyrmont is a great place for caf├ęs and restaurants so it really was the perfect place to stay.

The only negative thing I would say about Sydney is the public transport. With Melbourne it's so easy to work out the trams but the buses in Sydney seem a bit of a maze. There used to be a monorail but they took it down last year as apparently it was only tourists who used it as it didn't link the popular area of Darling Harbour to the centre of Sydney called Circular Quay. A positive side to this meant we did a lot of walking!

The day after we arrived we went on an epic walk. We went to almost every area of the centre of Sydney, I say centre as the city has lots of suburbs like London. My favourite part of the walk was walking through the Botanical Gardens and ending up at Mrs Macquarie's point. This is where you can see Sydney Opera House in front of Harbour Bridge - classic Sydney view. 

On Sunday we went to Bondi beach where I swam in the Iceberg pools. These are pools that are right on the beach - sometimes the ocean even splashes into the pools. It was incredible. Our other activities in Sydney included a hop-on, hop-off harbour cruise and a tour to the Blue Mountains. On our final full day in Sydney we went to Manly beach. This was probably my favourite beach I've ever been to. However we did see a lot of dead jelly fish on the beach, which freaked me out a bit!

Again, I am unable to add photos from my camera so here are a few from my phone. I may try and do a post just on my camera photos when I get back home.

There will be one more Australia post after this one.



Friday, 17 October 2014

Australia, week one: Melbourne

After two years of saving and monitoring every penny, me and the boyfriend have finally made it to Australia. Three years ago we went to New Zealand and always planned to go to Australia the next year, turns out life is more expensive than we anticipated but with careful saving measures we have done it. 

We are currently in Sydney but have been in Australia for a week now. We landed in Melbourne last Sunday after travelling for 20 plus hours. I have never needed moisturiser, lip balm and hand cream so much! After arriving at our hotel in the St Kilda area we went straight to sleep - luckily we got there at midnight so were able to get into bed and not worry about trying to beat jet lag.

During our stay in Melbourne we visited Federation Square - great for free wifi, Brunswick street - excellent for vintage and homeware shops, the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island.

The Great Ocean Road tour was 12 hours in total and we made numerous stops along the way including the twelve apostles. The twelve apostles are the most famous landmark on the journey but weirdly there are only about 6 or 7 left as the others have degraded into the sea - no idea why they haven't changed the name! We also convinced our tour guide to stop at a chocolate factory/shop on the way back. A highlight of this tour was seeing kangaroos in the wild. The views were spectacular and our tour guide was brilliant. 

Our other tour was to Phillip Island. Here we went to a koala sanctuary and to the penguin parade. We saw the little penguins (that's the breed) coming out of the ocean at sunset onto the beach and walk to their homes on dry land. They only come out at sunset to avoid the falcons in the area. This is where we saw wallabies too. They are so much more fluffy than I had anticipated. 

Here are a few photos from my phone as I am unable to add photos from my camera until I get home. Now to enjoy Sydney! 



Thursday, 9 October 2014

Blog ambition and inspiration

At work I always have to plan much further into the future than I would do in everyday life, for example, a project completion date will be September 2015, but obviously this does make me think, 'I wonder what I will be doing next year, where life will take me and what do I want to happen'. 

One of my greatest ambitions for next year is to improve this blog and to invest more time and a small amount of money into it. I have already had some early conversations with pipdig on how we might go about redesigning the layout and making the labels more user friendly. I would like to write longer articles, whether they are more along the lines of my recent post on the five year plan, or more light hearted ones such as my post on why it's ok to give up reading a book, I'm not sure yet. I would love to know in the comments what you, as the reader, would prefer. 

I would also like to combine this blog with a copywriting service for artists. If you are an artist, illustrator or designer and are interested in 'words' for your website, please do email me as I am looking to build up a portfolio. I am not only interested in writing but also photography. Sometimes I am rushed for time and have to put up photographs that I know are not my absolute best, therefore I am going to try and be stricter on myself about what photography I put up and to look at other people's work for inspiration. On that note let me talk about who is inspiring me at the moment.

In terms of writing and blog design Jenny Purr is my absolute favourite. Her blog design is so slick, so professional and she writes about topics that are incredibly relevant for bloggers in particular. Her blog shows how a blog should be done.

Kate from Ghostparties home posts are stunning. The careful choice of colours and styling along with on trend accessorising such as terrariums and hanging plants make these posts completely addictive. I want to believe that she has learnt these styling techniques but the more I see, the more I have come to the conclusion that she is just incredibly talented.

Then there is Vivianna Does Makeup, who recently won the award for best beauty blog in the Bloglovin' awards. I'm not someone who obsesses over makeup or skincare products but somehow she has me hooked. I think it is partly to do with the high end magazine-style photography of the products. The Eyelash Curler photograph is one of my favourites.

Finally, if I'm going to look anywhere for advice I turn to the Talented Ladies Club. It is a website for working mums, and even though I am not a mum I find their advice really useful. Even if you are not a working mum I urge you to check out their 'help' tab for how to be a freelancer and to run your own business.

Thank you for following me on this journey so far and I am always looking for inspiration so please do leave your links below.

P.S. There should be one post a week for the next three weeks and after that more regular posts will return. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Eight reasons to love Autumn

1. No more sun stroke or sun burn
This is one for you pale skin girls out there! Even in the UK heat I managed to get burnt several times this summer. In previous summers I have had sun stroke and am now always trying to avoid getting it again as it is horrendous. Bring on the crisp cold days!

2. Layering clothes
Clothes in summer are rubbish, everyone knows that, we can have much more fun with fashion in Autumn, layering and accessorising. Is it just me or do you avoid wearing too much jewellery in the summer, especially rings? I find they always stick to me, and I end up taking them off and storing them in my purse! Why not layer your jewellery this Autumn?

3. Hot food at lunch
The best thing to have in the Autumn is the classic jacket potato. I like mine with margarine, hoops and a bit of cheddar cheese plus a side salad. Mmmmm... mmm...

4. Colour of the leaves
They are so beautiful and obviously this is the only time of year you will see the leaves this rich orangey-red colour. Take the time to take photos of them, or collect them and make a collage.

5. Build up to Christmas 
I would say Autumn starts in October, so only 2 MONTHS TO CHRISTMAS! This time of year is when the shopping centres start to put out their Christmas lines, I cannot wait to visit the Christmas section of Liberty.

6. Not feeling guilty for staying inside
When you look outside and it's raining you cannot tell me you haven't felt slightly smug thinking it's not the right weather for exercise.

7. Having a blanket on the sofa
Snuggling up on the sofa watching the TV or catching up on YouTube with a blanket, slippers and dressing down, what more do you want?!

8. Halloween?
I wasn't sure whether to add Halloween to this list as I honestly believe it is a 'love it or hate it' type of holiday, but it is a good excuse for a party!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Rifle Paper co: the edit

I first heard of Rifle Paper through beauty and lifestyle blogger Essie Button. She has the London phone case, some of the prints, the beauty calendar, and basically I got jealous and had to go and browse the entire website! I mean every section, page by page, collection, then product type, just to make sure I had 100% seen it all. 

Rifle Paper was started by a husband and wife team, Anna and Nathan Bond. The company only started in 2009 and they are now stocked in countries all over the world in many many different stores. If you take a look at the 'stockists' part of their website you will see how long the list is! Recently Anna Bond has illustrated four gorgeous covers for some of Puffin's (Penguin) classic titles. The company has come so far in five years, to grow a business to this level in just five years is incredibly impressive. Not only have they grown but they have maintained their style and created such a strong and lovable brand. There is something for everyone on their site, granted it is more targeted towards women, but they produce designs and products that evoke memories with people and more importantly at really affordable prices. Let's take a look at my edit!

Resolution Constitution card, $4.50
One word: genius. For people who don't like Christmas what a great way to look to the future! I'm not saying I don't like Christmas by the way, I freaking love it, but I know people who would rather there was less of a fuss about it!

Paris Map iPhone 5c case, $18 (sale)I got my iPhone 5c really recently and have not yet bought a cover as it sort of looks like it has a cover on it already with the yellow back. However after dropping it numerous times I have come to the conclusion that a case might just be a good idea! I love the illustrations on this case and Paris holds special memories for me as it was the first holiday I had with my boyfriend 6 years ago! Plus I think pale pink sort of goes with yellow... Maybe?!

Herbs and Spices, charcoal, art print, $60
I've always loved these sorts of prints – botanical style prints I would say. The black background is quite unusual. I would hang this in a kitchen or dining room.

Honey Bee kitchen wall calendar 2015, $18
This is the first thing I saw on the website that I knew I had to have. It is already on my Christmas wish list! Every single month is beautiful, it's rare for me to find that I love every picture for every month with a yearly calendar. I can already see the Instagram photos!

Balloon Ride, art print, $24
There is something about this print that I just can't put my finger on, it makes me smile and that's why I like it!

Custom Portrait Personalised stationary, $155
Well, have you ever seen cuter personalised stationary!? I'm always admiring blogs with beautiful illustrated branding like Wish, Wish, Wish, Hannah Maggs and Essie Button, so to have the opportunity of personalised illustrated stationary is ah-mazing! I'm already saving!

Floral Coaster set, $16
You can never have too many coasters! They always seem to flake on me, maybe too many people spill their drinks on mine! But this cute set may make people more careful?? No?? Yeah you're probably right! But they're pretty anyway!

Lemons to Lemonade, art print, $24 (not pictured)
This is one of my favourite sayings. Basically when life gives you a glimpse of an opportunity, take it with both hands and make it into something that will make you happy and lead to more opportunities! I like to have positive messaging in my flat so this print is more than likely going to make an appearance on my wall at some point in the future.

I do not normally put prices in dollars on my blog, but this is an American website. That said there are plenty of UK stockists. I hope you enjoyed this rather lengthy post! Please do let me know of any similar companies or brands as I'm always on the look out for beautiful illustrations!
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