July 23, 2014

A Weekly Collection

A random collection of photos from a post that was never published. It seems that in the rush of life, certain moments were overlooked but the themes these photos represent are surprisingly current: long walks on brisk days, cosy winter weekends spent inside relaxing at home, impending wedding planning and happy reminders of jimmy's recent (epic) month long celebration of his birthday.  Old photos, happy memories.

July 21, 2014

Weekend Getaway: Jenolan Caves

I've been thinking a lot this past weekend about the news and world events and how incredibly quick life can change in an instant. While the TV fills my head with images that leave me feeling sad and confused I have to turn my heart to what matters most - family and friends around us. I feel an overwhelming urge to pick up the phone, forget the small stuff and be filled with utter gratitude for how lucky I am to live the life that I do. I am even more ready for a trip home to see my family and am going to appreciate the moments next weekend where we'll be surrounded by friends we love. It is even more fitting to finally be able to post these photos of our recent trip to Jenolan Caves with Jimmy's folks - a weekend that was filled with laughter, family and a much needed reminder to slow down and enjoy what mother nature provides.

It was my first trip to Jenolan Caves and I was blown away not only by the remote location or the Swiss Alps type feel but of the caves themselves, a trip I would certainly recommend to anyone visiting. It was the perfect winter escape with those I love.

July 10, 2014

Nusa Lembongan, Bali

As I sit and write this post I'm curled up on the couch, the heater is on and I'm under a pile of blankets. Winter in Sydney has arrived but I'm taking comfort in posting (my later than anticipated) part 2 of our Bali getaway and dreaming of beaches and summer nights. The second part of our vacation was even better than the first and after I got over my fear of boats, we jetted off to the island of Nusa Lembongan where I my jaw literally dropped at what awaited.  Fishing boats, island life and crystal clear water greeted us and for the next three days life slowed down and consisted of swimming, eating, napping and reading books (well Jimmy surfed, I read and napped - and then got massages, daily. To say it was heaven was an understatement. We rented scooters and explored the island, found hidden luxury resorts where we snuck in and went for a swim, Jimmy lost control of our motorbike, crashed into a bamboo wall (nothing was hurt but his ego) while the entire town came out to laugh, we ran out of cash on an island with no ATM and other ridiculous tourist mishaps. I tend to find it hard to relax but this place just had me blissed out and for anyone looking to escape the mass of tourists on the mainland this little island paradise is just 30 minutes away. So, so grateful for this trip in general and for being able to experience such a beautiful country yet again. I'll be back...

June 30, 2014

Etsy Craft Party: Sydney

I can't say no to a good party and when Etsy asks you host one of their biggest events of the year, you say yes. So that's exactly what happened earlier this month. I teamed up with Jenny and Sal to put our creative heads together and host our version of their Sydney Craft party coming up with an evening of cocktails, Motown hits, an embroidery inspiration wall and far too much sugar. We spent the night before cutting up thousands of little paper triangles, rushing around to make sure we had enough glue and other craft essentials but it was all worth it and no event would be complete with a post event celebration at Mary's. I tend to say yes to a lot of things and keep my life moving at a quick pace (that sometimes feels slightly out of control) but when I get to team up with girlfriends to do fun things that normally wouldn't happen, why would you ever say no? 

This event was part of a global series of events that took place all around the world on 6 June - ours was just one of the Sydney celebrations - so check out #craftyparty to see what the rest of the world got up to.

June 20, 2014

Part 1: Canggu, Bali

Bali bliss. That's how I'd sum up our recent trip to Bali that we took over the extended Easter and Anzac day holiday. It's not for everyone but there is something about Bali that is just pure magic to me. The smokey scent of incense that permeates the air, the humid mornings, the strong coffee, the strange balance between quite and chaos. I love it and for someone that tends to be a bit high strung on holiday and can't seem to slow down, this vacation was a complete change of pace.  

Our first few days we stayed in Canggu and immediately fell in love with the great villa we scored on Airbnb. While Jimmy surfed each morning I'd laze around in bed before making my way to our private pool where I poured through pages of Gone Girl until Jimmy got back. Then we'd spend the rest of our day zipping around on scooters, eating far too much nasi goreng and making it back to the villa just in time for a nap or happy hour cocktails while the afternoon thunderstorm rolled in. We watched the sunsets from Old Mans and drank cold Bintangs to our heart's content. We repeated this pattern until it was time to leave and I looked around at some of the expats around us and immediately understood the draw of living in such a place. I have to say I'm hooked and could have stayed for months but it was time to move on and enjoy a bit of island life...

June 18, 2014

Byron Bay: Splash Workshop

In late May I went to Byron Bay for a solo trip that in total was 24hrs. Despite the whirlwind experience, it was enough to soak up the laid back, chilled out vibe that Byron is famous for and gave me a chance to hang out with some girls that became fast friends. To give you some background I was invited by Nikki of Paper Runway to take part in her Splash Creative weekend and to host a session on building community and to hold our first interstate Instagram Meet-up.  I was sold and couldn't wait to head up to Byron (I've only been there once before years ago) and finally get to meet some of the bloggers I've only known online.  

I was lucky enough to be able to stay at the famed Atlantic Byron Bay Guest House and it completely lived up to expectations and despite the rainy weather I soaked up as much as Byron as I could in that short time. The workshop was a blast and I was able to enjoy some solo travel time shopping, checking out the beach and treating myself to a coffee and breakfast where I could people watch to me heart's content. As everyone will tell you there is just something magical about Byron (even in the rain) and I can't wait for Jimmy and I to be able to head back soon for another trip.

June 16, 2014

Kidspot Voices of 2014: Sydney Masterclass

A few weeks back I was asked to speak at the Kidspot Voices of 2014 Masterclass - cue public speaking panic attack. I was to join a panel talking about using Facebook as a blogging tool and my first instinct was to delete the email and pretend I never saw it. Instead in a rare moment of courage I decided to face my fear and say yes. The surprising thing? I actually enjoyed it.

Now no story like this would be complete without a ridiculous incident to go along with it and this is exactly what happened the morning of my talk. I had prepared notes and had a stress free morning to calm my nerves. I was ready to look this fear head on and share my knowledge. I was ready to go for it - and that's when things started to go downhill. It started out slowly when the iron wouldn't heat up which was frustrating as I had a silk shirt to wear that was in desperate need of some help. Then the iron stopped working altogether, it broke. Not to worry, I ran upstairs, turned on the shower and steamed my clothes so they were wrinkle free. I breathed a sigh of relief and continued to get ready. My bag was packed and I was jumping out of the shower rushing to finish up as the iron incident had made me run behind schedule and I was very close to being late, a poor habit of mine. 

My hair was soaking wet but I knew I could dry it quickly, that is until I realised the hair drying wasn't working. In fact nothing in the apartment was working as the power was out. I tried the fuse box, that didn't work and anyone with a fringe knows that without a hair dryer a straight fringe is nearly impossible. If this was any normal day I wouldn't have cared but in 20 minutes I was expected to present in front of 100 strangers and a slicked back, sopping wet bun wasn't exactly the look i was going for. I thought I might cry and then in a panic i just grabbed the hair dryer and jumped in the car. I ended up drying my hair in the bathroom of the event venue - which was filled with ladies giving me strange looks - but luckily all worked out within a minute to spare. Just as my fringe was perfectly straight I was able to dash into the room, grab my name badge and have about 2 seconds to breath before heading up to speak.

The hair incident made me laugh and was a lucky distraction as it took my mind off any fear and turns out was a pretty good story to tell afterwards. The rest of the weekend was a breeze with lots of lounging around the house and savouring a simple weekend at home.
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