In my closet.

It’s becoming obvious (to me, anyway) that I seem to be wearing the same kind of things over and over again this winter.

Stripey things, Lover lace, giraffe prints and polka dots, leather ankle boots of varying detail, classic black pumps that each serve a different purpose, silk button-downs, cosy sweaters and a gorgeous giraffe-print weekender from Country Road.

All the things I love, really.

Winter Sun.

Hope ‘Icon’ shirt, Zara trousers, Valentino kitten heels, Celine purse.

A quick run-down of my week: falling in love with this Hope blouse, catching up on the latest issue of Russh, locking ourselves out of our house, succumbing to a pair of Isabel Marant sneakers, Patrick James on repeat, and spending most of Saturday down by the beach with my husband, unfurling the picnic rug and laying on our backs as we soaked up the winter sun.

Hope.

Hope sweater, Lover Rosebud dress, YSL Arty Ovale ring.

Could this sweater get any more perfect?

Probably not.

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Rosebud.

Lover Rosebud dress, YSL cocktail ring.

I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to wear this dress and take some photos of it for months and months now but the stars never seemed to align with the sun setting much earlier now and the fact that I haven’t worn my Rosebud much at all since running into the fortune of tracking it down on eBay.

So it’s rather funny/unfortunate that when I finally find myself with an opportunity to do so, I only have my courtyard (and my neglected garden) to work with, as well as my post-work makeup and three-day old hair to contend with. And nowhere to go, of course.

Anyway, speaking of rosebuds, I think you’d all agree my courtyard is in dire need of some! If anyone knows a gardener…

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Land of the dead.

I often wonder why I do it to myself.

Why I set my alarm for 5:28am, why I sleep in my gym clothes, right down to my asics socks. Why I stumble out of bed in complete darkness, trying earnestly not to wake my husband. Why I reluctantly walk out the front door and to my car and then drive with the headlights on and the heater cranking to my gym where an hour of brutal exercise awaits me.

Today was all of this, and more. And going back to bed is never, ever, an option.

Sometimes I wonder why I choose this lifestyle because, the truth is, I truly hate it as much as I love it. I’ll stand in front of the mirror in the workout room at 6:01am hating myself and wondering why I’m even here. The timer starts, the whistle blows and before I know it, I’m running laps of the workout room; one minute on; one minute off. We mix it up a bit by throwing five burpees or three push-ups in there.

And this goes on for an entire hour – no rest. It truly is the Land of the Dead.

And I think to myself: why didn’t I just stay warm underneath the covers, sleep in for a little bit longer, make myself a coffee. Breakfast, even. Like ‘normal’ people.

But as the day wears on, and by the time the afternoon rolls around, I start to get it. I feel so indescribably free. The hardest part of my day is done. And the penny drops. I have so much to be grateful for in this life and so much to look forward to when I come home. Getting up early and getting my workouts out of the day means my evenings are spent with the (simple) things I love most in this world. My cosy Hope sweater, burning my favourite candle I picked up in Boston, catching up on some reading in bed, and the feeling that I am doing the best I can, with all that I have, to be better, healthier, stronger, fitter and free.

Sunflower.

Fresh flowers, along with sleep-ins and manicures, are such a luxury in our household.

Our home’s in dire need of a little sprucing so what better than a bouquet of sunflowers to greet us in our entryway each morning?

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What’s in my bag.

It’s amazes me (and others) how many things I can fit in my Celine regular Trio. Here’s a little peek at what I’m carrying today…

Hermes Ulysses PM notebook/agenda

iPhone

Ray Ban Wayfarers

NARS Schiap lipstick & Clinique Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry (I tend to carry at least two lip products in my bag at any one time).

Tiger Balm (for nursing my sprained wrist)

Chanel pressed powder compact

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream (as a lip balm)

Osis+ Dust It (texturiser/mattifier for my hair. I love its compact size).

Spare bobby pins in a zip lock bag

Anorak.

Bassike long sleeved striped dress, Cotton On anorak, ASOS leather baseball cap, Maison Martin Margiela x H&M leather and perspex boots.

A quick outfit post today. I accidentally got carried away with Instagram video and still need to hang out the washing before heading out to celebrate my grandad’s 91st (!) birthday and then a coffee catch up with my bestie later this afternoon. 

Yesterday, my husband and I started the day taking a stroll down to our favourite local breakfast haunt, Cantina, picking up almond croissants from La Galette de France for dessert, and then watched the sun go down by the river through our camera lens.

Margaret River.

As much as I love feeling the sand between my toes and the comforting, warm rays of the summer sun dancing across the ocean, nothing really compares to a winter sunset; the pillowed tufts of cloud forming across the sky; the air that’s so crisp as each day awakens; and the remarkable colour of winter light.

It’s the reason we escape to places like these. To capture incredible moments in time that we know may never come again.

This is Margaret River, one of my favourite places in the world, through my looking glass.

Leopard.

Stella McCartney ‘Jane’ leopard print wedges.

A classic impulsive purchase from the current Netaporter sale which arrived on my doorstep yesterday. Sadly, they’re going back because they’re a whole size too big for me (I never seem to learn my lesson when it comes to slingbacks – always size down!). As seasonal and a little out-there as they are, I actually really love them, too. Jane and I weren’t meant to be unfortunately.

On my bedside.

Currently on my bedside table.

A Laduree souvenir from my 27th birthday celebrations in Europe, empty Glasshouse candle jars that I keep for its fragrance, and a sweet reminder of the holiday planning I need to get cracking on.

VOSN Wishlist.

I’ve been quietly counting down the days, hours (and now minutes!) for the Vogue Online Shopping Night to begin. There are so many great discounts on offer from various retailers, which you can view here. I’ve spent the past few days compiling a little wishlist of things that have caught my eye in recent weeks. Here is my edit:

1. Hope ‘Icon’ Oversized Shirt: I’ve been after a tailored man-style shirt in either a worn-in denim or chambray blue. I love that this has an asymmetrical curved hem and boxy fit.

2. Dress Up Navy Trench: I’m not a dedicated trench girl but I was immediately sold on the soft tailoring and the fact that it’s navy. And also the fact that Jessie Bush looks amazing in her khaki version. It also falls past the knees which is a refreshing change from those above-knee trench coats out there.

3. Hope Button-Back Sweater: I recently discovered Swedish label Hope and was instantly hooked. I love their minimalist, androdynous aesthetic, softened by delicate, feminine fabrics and colours. I adore the contrast black buttons and the oversized fit.

4. Forever New ‘Erin’ 7/8th Slim Cut Trousers: The best trousers for work, hands down. The fit is magical and the fabric stays nice and crisp. They’re a 7/8th length which means I don’t have to take them up as they graze my ankles already – bonus! I own one pair already and love them so much that I’m going to buy another.

5. Dieppa Restrepo ‘Walt’ Loafer: I would have preferred the croc-embossed version (all sold out unfortunately!) but these tick similar boxes for me.

6. Lover ‘Sphinx’ leather shorts: I’ve been eyeing this leopard & leather combination all season, though the thought of wearing shorts right now leaves me racing for the bed covers. They’re on sale at the moment with Ausmode offering a further 10% off.

7. Becca Cosmetics: I’ll be stocking up on the Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone and the Compact Concealer, both of which I wear religiously every day.

Workout & Food Diary.

I’ve been meaning to put this post together for months now, but haven’t found the time nor the inclination until, I guess, now.

I’m going to lay it all out on the table and confess that my diet has gone halfway to shit this winter and so has my workouts. I say ‘halfway’ because I’m still attending my boxing classes at least 3 times a week (4 times and I’m forcing myself to go) and my diet is, at the moment, about 60-70% clean, as opposed to 90% before.

Basically, I’m not where I want to be right now, particularly with my healthy eating (or lack of).

Training

My sprained wrist is also proving to be a bit of a hinderance so it’s crazy that I’m craving working out when I know I shouldn’t – or can’t. I’m taking a rest from it tonight though because it’s only starting to come back to life after a week since spraining it and I don’t want to screw it up, just in case. I have been boxing with my right wrist double strapped and only started getting back on the bags yesterday – punching with my left arm only. I excused myself from burpees and push-ups and only skipped intermittently so as to not put unnecessary stress on my wrist. I did attend a couple of classes before the weekend and naughtily did a whole hour of HIIT workouts involving push-ups and burpees. Probably wasn’t the best idea.

6am workouts have become a thing of the past because my body just refuses to wake up at half past five in the morning. Getting up for an 8am class on Saturday mornings is proving not too much of an issue, though, so that’s my saving grace.

All that aside, I am seeing continued improvement in my endurance, strength and agility/flexibility:

  • I can run for 7-8km continuously without resting.
  • I’m lifting more weight now, on par with some of the boys in my class.
  • My boxing technique has dramatically improved thanks to my Polish instructor; punching using all of my body, pivoting on my toes, elbows tucked in and arms straight.

And here are my workout goals that I’ll be working towards in preparation for spring:

  • Proper star jumps – arms and legs at 45 degree angles
  • Burpees with my back straight
  • Jumping with both knees as high as they can be
  • Push-ups on my toes!

They’re not lofty goals but they’re enough to keep me challenged during my workouts.

Diet

I have become so much more ‘relaxed’ about what I’m putting into my body. For the first time in a few months, I’m incorporating a little of bit of bottled sauces, full-fat cheese, starchy bread, white rice, and even alcohol (just a glass) into my diet. It’s all attributed to lack of willpower, to put it bluntly.

I’m only eating three meals a day these days (as opposed to six) due to work being so overwhelmingly busy and lack of organisation on my part.

I have been conscious of eating a big breakfast (a huge bowl of oatmeal with sliced banana, cinnamon and honey) so that I’m less likely to succumb to the temptation of pies and cakes for morning tea. It also keeps me fuller for longer which means I’m not starving by the time lunch time rolls around.

Here are my favourite things I’ve been cooking/eating lately that are a bit more suited to cold winter nights:

  • Thai Salmon Patties (I bake these instead of frying).
  • Baked Eggs with Chickpea & Spinach (I use fresh tomatoes and instead of bread, serve with quinoa).
  • Vegie Stir-Fry (I make this in my Thermomix and add chicken. I also use honey and low-sodium soy sauce as my only condiments. I add lots of chilli though)!
  • Stuffed Capsicums (which I pair with either quinoa or sweet potato mash. I also disregard the tomato sauce – the less salt and pre-packaged stuff, the better – and add in more fresh tomatoes instead).
  • Spicy Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad (I’m addicted to cayenne pepper – to make up for the fact that I don’t add salt or pepper to my food anymore)!
  • Stuffed Zucchini (with quinoa)
  • And a bit of a cheat meal – Buckwheat Soba Noodles (you can buy these from any Asian or Japanese grocery store) with Momofuku’s Scallion Sauce and homemade dumplings (which my mother in-law made for me recently).

I try to keep my first and last meal for the day as clean and healthy as possible. I’m just finding it hard to resist all the add-ons: a piece of (dark) chocolate here, a bowl of ice cream there. It’s not going to kill me but I’m going to work on getting that willpower back that I managed to exercise so well at the start of the year.

Body observations:

I’ve noticed a few things changing here and there since my last post. To be perfectly honest, it’s probably attributed more to stress than my diet or even my training. In summary:

  • More toned through the arms and shoulders. Lots of scary tricep definition after increasing my weights over the past few weeks.
  • Quadriceps looking more and more fierce. Not a good thing.
  • Calves have increased in size, especially when I flex them. Also not the result I was after.
  • Thighs haven’t seen much movement though I’m taking measurements and roughly 2cm has come off since March/April.
  • I’ve dropped a whole bra/boob size. I used to be a C (measuring 34/35 inches) but have dramatically dropped to a B (down to 32 inches). I’ve had to start shopping for new bras as a result
  • My wrists have shrunk and my finger size has decreased all over. You might have noticed that I’m no longer (or I can’t!) wear my engagement ring on my left hand anymore. It’s also started to swivel on my right hand. I’ve decided not to resize my rings until after I have kidlets.
  • I’ve lost some weight off my hips and have dropped a jean/pant and underwear size.
  • Despite all this, I’m feeling fitter and healthier than ever. I came down with a niggling cold last month but it somehow surpassed when it ordinarily would have turned into a fully-fledged cold. I do owe my regular exercise to my much-improved immune system.
  • On the whole, I’m finding that regular and consistent exercise is breathing quality of life into my day to day activities. I can paint a house for a whole day without getting sore; I can participate in a 12km fun run and wake up right as rain the next day; there are so many things I can do now without working up a sweat. And it’s doing wonders for me, mentally.

Everlasting Love.

It’s just me, my Milo, a tub of Tiger Balm for the next few hours. I swapped a boxing class for this review I’m about to write, so get comfy for this love letter to Everlane.

Silk button-downs are an essential part of my wardrobe. I wear them to work (in favour of those linen/cotton shirts) and they work equally well on the weekend. But I have a love/hate relationship with them, to be honest. I love the soft tailoring, the way they drape across the body and flutter in the breeze; I love that they don’t crease in the crook of my elbows, and, can instantly add polish to a pair of linen track pants for the office.

There is not much I don’t like about silk shirts, except that for the fact that they are almost always impossible to keep clean. And they’re almost always very ‘spensive. Coupled with this and the highly-strung upkeep, it’s no wonder that I’ve put finding the perfect silk shirt on the back burner until now.

But then there was Everlane.

First up, the classic silk shirts are priced at almost a steal – $80, which is a fraction of what an Equipment shirt would set you back. Everlane, as a company, are also refreshingly transparent about and committed to their business practices and provenance.

But back to the silk shirts themselves, I’ve split this ‘review’ into sections, so I hope you find it helpful.

Fabric

Velvety soft with a ‘washed silk’ look and feel to them. It seems Everlane and Equipment are practically cut from the same cloth. Made from 100% silk, with the ivory coloured blouse not overly sheer so there’s no need to wear a camisole underneath, even though the website stipulates that the shirt is “slightly sheer”.

I wore my ivory shirt out on the weekend for the first time and (of course) happened to get a few food stains on them down the front of the shirt. I promptly went to the bathroom and spot cleaned with some warm soapy water. The stains perfectly disappeared without any compromise on the fabric.

Cut

The deal breaker for me.

The sleeves are narrow (which I love) but they’re a smidge too long for what I deem to be a ‘perfect’ shirt. I’m just under 5’5 for reference. The cuffs brush just past my wrists, and I prefer them to hit just at the top of my wrist. Not a biggie, though.

Narrow through the body whilst not being too fitted or ridiculously oversized. The size S in these shirts are much more tailored and fitted than an Equipment XS.

Shirt length is perfect on my 5’5 frame. The hem hits just above the widest point of my hips, so I’m able to tuck it into trousers and skirts without excess fabric showing through my clothes. It’s also so short that it untucks itself throughout the day.

The collar has slightly rounded corners (I actually prefer them to be pointed) but they’re not too ‘peter pan’ looking so I don’t mind them so much.

Colour

The black looks almost navy under certain light. As the silk is brushed, it gives the colour this suede-like appearance. It’s not an intense black by all means but it’s a lovely, natural shade that lends itself to work for all occasions.

The ivory is an off-white. Not a bright white but there are no traces of ‘nude’ in this, either.

The imperceptible details

Sleeves are a crisp, straight-cut, which makes rolling them up seamless. I avoid blouses with billowy sleeves at all costs.

The front placket is stitched down so no gaps between buttons and the front of the shirt sits nicely flat against the body.

No fancy stitching or pintuck (etc) detailing at the tops of the shoulders, on the sleeve placket or anywhere else on the shirt. No excess gathering of fabric for aesthetic purposes. It’s a no-frills kind of blouse, and that’s why I consider it to be a keeper in my wardrobe.

The top button is positioned in a way that allows you to wear it buttoned to the collar without feeling uncomfortable or claustrophobic.

Wash and wear

I haven’t had an opportunity to wash them just yet but when the time comes I think I’ll just pop them in a delicates bag and throw them into the machine.

Post-wash, I’ll give it a once-over with my garment steamer.

How to buy

I’ve had many queries regarding how to purchase from Everlane online, particularly from my Australian readers. I can only provide an answer based on my own experience:

  • I used a parcel forwarder (Shipito) to purchase these shirts. I purchased a black and ivory shirt so shipping was free to my Shipito adress. It took about 4-5 working days to arrive to my parcel forwarder. From there it cost me about $40 to post these shirts to me in Australia via USPS Priority Mail.
  • I highly recommend Shipito for their efficiency (I’ve never ever had an issue with them) however their postage costs are a bit higher than other parcel forwarders.
  • I used my Australian credit card when placing the order. In the Billing Code field, I entered the zip code of my Shipito address. I find it bizarre that the first time I did this, it rejected it and then when I tried again the next day, my order was accepted. Still don’t know why.
  • Sizing: the size charts they provide are quite accurate. I ordered both my shirts in a size S. For reference, I wear XXS in Country Road silk shirts and these seem to be a very similar fit (with CR being a smidge smaller in the shoulders).

I am definitely interested in purchasing more of these shirts (in the pale grey and nude colour). I hope my review helps those of you who have been thinking of buying these shirts for yourselves!

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Pared Back.

Karen Walker coat, Witchery shirt, Zara trousers, Chanel ballet flats, Givenchy croc-stamped Antigona tote, necklace from eBay, Prada Baroque sunglasses.

My blog has been completely devoid of any work outfits for a while now so here’s a typical outfit for the office that I’d wear on any given day. The only thing I’d include is a black tuxedo jacket and save the coat for outside errands. I would probably even forgo the statement necklace as I find my neck starts to hurt after a couple hours of sitting at my desk and, believe it or not, I find ornate necklaces way too dressy for my liking. You’ll notice that I don’t even wear them on the weekend anymore. All that money spent, I know!

My minimalist approach to work outfits is most definitely attributed to my pared-down wardrobe. I’ve also been wearing less dresses and skirts to the office, preferring more mannish and comfortable outfits to get me through my 9-10 hour days at work.

I should also point out that I didn’t have any lipstick in my bag on the day these photos were taken which is why I’m looking like a zombie in these pics. That said, it’s not any different from any other day at work to be honest! And as for my hair, well, you know where I’m going with this…

Perfect Bassikes.

If there’s one label that has stood the test of time in my wardrobe, it’s Bassike. I remember my very first pieces – organic jersey tanks and long sleeved t-shirts in grey marle and white that are so lovingly lived-in I prefer to wear them as winter pyjamas now.

Five years on and I’m still captivated by the concept of easy, breezy weekend wear; beautiful simple things that are as equally as perfect to potter around the house in, or to a lazy lunch on a Sunday afternoon with a girlfriend.

I recently added a couple more ‘basics’ to my Bassike pile – admittedly with my upcoming travels in mind: a pair of slim cut grey trackpants and a long sleeved striped dress with a rounded, asymmetric hem. They’ll prove to be indispensable layering pieces and perfect plane ‘pyjamas’, too.

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Travel companion.

Meet my new favourite travel companion.

Like an old pair of slippers; like walking on pillowed tufts of cloud all day long; like running the tips of your toes through cool, crisp grass. These Roshe Runs are all that and more, and I’m kicking myself for not discovering it sooner.

Waffle Knits.

 

 

 

Everlane classic silk shirt, Bassike jersey slouch pants, Zara slippers, navy waffle knit scarf handknitted for me by mum, Alexander Wang bag.

You know it’s not going to be your average week when it kicks off by falling down a flight of stairs with a huge crate of pies in your hands (the pies were okay, thank god). The week progressed with spraining my wrist by jarring it a bit too enthusiastically into a heavy bag at boxing (hence the very glamorous bandage I’m wearing above), reaching the pinnacle of my career by finally getting paid to tweet, rolling out the biggest marketing campaign of my career, and then today – attempting to fix my washing machine using a set of rather vague instructions texted to me by my husband who’s conveniently at work right now.

I have decided that if I can successfully fix this Whirlpool of mine (let’s just say it took me a while to learn how to use a can opener) then I’m going to treat myself to a Wacom Bamboo tablet thing today. I’ve wanted one for a while and the mouse just isn’t cutting the mustard anymore, lest I’ll add RSI to my list of wrist-related ailments. Do any of you own a Wacom and how are you finding it? Would you suggest anything else?

As for this Everlane shirt I’m wearing, I’ve promised a few of you a ‘review’ so stay tuned.

Cashmere & the crisp cold air.

Lover Infinity Tux Jacket, Country Road Intarsia spot sweater, Witchery leather leggings & wool fedora, Chloe Susanna boots, Konrath von Reumont tote.

There’s nothing better than rugging up in leather, cashmere/wool and lived-in ankle boots for a weekend away in the middle of (almost) nowhere. It rained all weekend but we took the opportunity to enjoy the crisp, cold air, the soft light of winter sunsets, long drives along the coast and copious amounts of mulled wine in front of the fire. It was exactly what we both needed.

Mariniere.

Zara boatneck striped sweater, Lover white culotte pants, Prada sunglasses, Chanel purse & ballet flats.

In my typical dishevelled self wearing an outfit from the weekend. By ‘dishevelled’, I mean throwing on my most comfortable (i.e. baggiest) clothes and ballet flats, and spending more time grooming my brows than my (unwashed) hair. And by ‘typical’, this would be a pretty accurate representation of how I get ready for work each day.

I got up at 8am on Saturday for a boxing class, and when I came home, the only effort I could muster was for a hot shower and a slick of mascara. I thought I’d redeem myself with this brick-striped top from Zara. I’m sure most of you would agree that stripes can instantly pep up the most complacent of outfits, such as this.

The big easy.

ASOS coat, Witchery cable knit sweater, Lover black Coppelia lace shirt layered underneath with collar peeking out, Country Road jeans, H&M fedora.

I was lucky enough to scoop up the last of these leopard coats on sale from ASOS, over the summer. The temperature has only just taken a small dive in Perth this weekend, to finally warrant taking it out of storage and wear it in all its animal print glory.

I especially love the dipped hem and the shawl collar; the uneven spots and the classic silhouette that is reminiscent of Isabel Marant’s Bator coat.

I believe they call this love at first sight?

Wild Card.

Witchery cable scoop hem knit, Country Road ankle crop jeans, H&M wool fedora, Valentino Rockstud kitten heels.

I’ve been pulling out a few forgotten but treasured things from my wardrobe this weekend, in an effort to ‘shop’ from my closet rather than for it. After that recent Givenchy birthday splurge and my upcoming Europe excursion in September to save up for, the next three months for me will be decidedly frugal.

Speaking of holidays and birthday purchases, you might remember that I treated myself to a pair of these Valentino heels when I was in Stockholm for my honeymoon. They were such an impulsive (and expensive!) buy at the time but two years on, I can safely say that I still feel giddy at the mere sight of them.

I’m thinking about taking them to Europe with me as my ‘special occasion shoes’, and also to compensate for the fact that I’ll be wearing my Roshe Run sneakers most days. I usually avoid packing heels – especially when cobblestones are involved – but the little kitten heel makes a world of difference. And anyway, what’s a packing list without a little wild card entry?

Down Time.

ASOS leopard print coat, Witchery cable knit jumper, black embellished bib necklace from ebay, Country Road white ankle cropped jeans, H&M wool fedora.

Finally, some down time.

J and I had originally planned to spend the long weekend retreating in a secluded studio in Margaret River but we decided to shift our winter roadtrip to next weekend instead. If it isn’t already obvious, I’m looking forward to the mini-break!

That said, this weekend will be all about spending time with my family, dinners at home, rugging up in my favourite knits (and leopard coats), making homemade mulled wine, spending Sunday afternoon baking, fitting in some boxing classes and a run (which I find so incredibly therapeutic and relaxing!) as well as drinking copious amounts of hot milo.

Happy weekend to you all!