Love/hate.

The view from the Arc de Triomphe yesterday.

I have a love/hate relationship with a few of the world’s most photographed landmarks. I always love coming home with personal photos like these but it’s a pity that I’m always elbow to elbow with someone with the exact same idea. It kind of kills the buzz.

One of the best things I’ve learnt on my trip so far, to overcome this, is to get up when the sun does to beat the crowds and the inevitable tour buses (any time before 9am is ideal). It’s such a simple thing to do and you’d be amazed at how much more you can fit into a day by doing so.

It’s just past half-past seven in the morning in Paris now and we’re about to leave for Trocadéro – also my first time! 

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In Louvre with Paris.

We spent our first day getting up bright and early to beat the tourist buses. We explored the Louvre (my first time!) then strolled through the Jardin du Tuileries before having breakfast at Claus, which was conveniently nearby. The afternoon was spent climbing to the top of Arc de Triomphe (not for the faint of heart) and then, finally, queuing for a dinner table at Chez Omar (it was fantastic). A perfect first day in Paris.

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Featured: Stylish 365.

3.1 Phillip Lim sweatshirt, ASOS cropped culottes, Zara heels, MNO.logie perspex clutch.

I’ve been featured this month on Stylish 365, discussing all things spring and what’s currently on my wardrobe wishlist (as well as what I’ve purchased for spring so far). These cropped ASOS culottes have fast become a favourite of mine, and have snuck into my suitcase ready for eating gelato in along the Italian Riviera. Can you tell I’m hankering to get on that plane already?

You can read my spring feature over here. Thank you for having me, Stylish 365!

Aesop’s Fables.

Does anyone else feel that sheer joy and relief once the toiletries are packed? I typically leave my least favourite aspect of packing until the day I fly out, which almost always causes me to forget something rather critical, like my toothbrush.

I’m putting those days behind me now though and managed to get all my skincare and make-up together this afternoon. It feels good to be organised.

Dress-Ups.

Morrison and I go way back. Back to 2005, in fact. I remember the sample sales in Fremantle and my first ever Morrison purchase: a charcoal wool pinafore that saw me through first jobs and first everything, back then.

Morrison was, in all honesty, one of the very first ‘labels’ to propel me down a slippery slope of the wonderful world of wearable, luxe fabrics, relaxed tailoring, and home grown talent, all right here in my own backyard.

Seven years on, my love for all things Morrison is still there.

So you could imagine how excited I was to have the opportunity to play dress-ups for the afternoon recently at their incredibly photogenic boutique in Fremantle.

I fell in immediate love with not only their home wares but this season’s rich desert to ocean tones; the textured fabrics and buttery soft leathers; the soft silhouettes; and the nonchalant attitude that is inherent in the Morrison aesthetic. I’d struggle to count the number of pieces I’d gladly take home with me on one hand; the chambray blue linen cuffed shorts, the drapey leather sack dress, the cropped tuxedo jackets with a ruffled coat tail, the black ‘Balmain’ cigarette trousers (and there is a fine art to this), as well as the bonsai-coloured linen cropped cuffed trousers which went with everything I paired it with. So I bought them. I also happened to succumb to the Rosier ruffled hem blazer a week later, which by some stroke of luck was discounted by 70%. I believe they call this fate?

Thank you Morrison and the Fremantle team for having me for the afternoon!

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In my suitcase.

These are but a few things I’m throwing into the suitcase.

A pair of espadrilles, an inconspicuous purse and some colour on my nails because I feel naked without it.

I don’t leave until the wee hours of Saturday morning but my husband and I have already packed – in a concerted effort to be much more organised this time. With almost all the itineraries written up now (no mean feat when you’re dealing with eight destinations) and train tickets purchased, we’re finally starting to have the opportunity to be so excited about what lies ahead for us:

Blissing out in the Blue Lagoon, catching a boat to Riva del Garda with our close friends, lunch at Noma (kind of a big deal), the possibility of catching the aurora borealis dancing across the Icelandic sky, scaling confectionery-hued cliff-clinging fishing villages in Cinque Terre, eating too much gelato (if there ever is such a thing), picnic-ing on the banks of the Canal St Martin… and basically, this: Il dolce far niente (‘the sweetness of doing nothing’). I can’t wait.

I plan to update my blog as I traipse my way through various parts of Europe as I’m certain there’ll be no shortage of photos to share and places to write about. Oh, and things to buy, of course!

Weddings.

It always baffles me how I get so much more emotional at other people’s weddings than how I did at my own.

Taking the vows; catching a glimpse of the groom at the altar; the way my heart stops when the bride slips on her dress (and the veil!); the rolling picture slideshow chronicling how they met and how they fell in love; the speeches delivered with a wavering unsteadiness; him calling her his wife for the first time; and the knowledge that they’ll blissfully spend the rest of their lives together.

I love it all and I will never, ever, tire of it. 

Planning.

Frantically finishing (or starting, rather) my Europe itineraries in between attending a morning and afternoon wedding was not what I had in mind five days out from departure, but that’s exactly what I’ve been ambitiously doing and working towards today.

Packing sped into high gear yesterday, starting with getting together my favourite Aesop essentials to see me through a myriad of climates and countries.

Speaking of packing I’ve also made the decision to take only half of my original packing list upon the realisation that I probably don’t need four coats and eight pairs of pants/jeans/skirts. Especially after discovering today a magical wonderland called the Acne Studios outlet in Copenhagen.

Here comes trouble…

Hair she goes.

Lover ‘Infinity’ tux jacket, Sportsgirl white crewneck t-shirt, Morrison ‘Edward’ linen trousers, Givenchy croc-stamped Antigona tote, Alexander Wang ‘Kori’ oxfords.

What I wore to work today.

This more than likely sums up what I wear to the office on any given day: a beautiful, tailored jacket (usually in black), slim-cut trousers cuffed just above the ankle, a cashmere sweater or a basic t-shirt on warmer days, anchored by low-heeled ankle boots or leather oxfords.

Easy as pie.

The T-shirt.

It seems post-wardrobe cull, I’ve been torturing myself by embarking on a forever manhunt for that perfect so-and-so.

The white button-down entirely without flaw, the perfectly tailored boyfriend jeans, the black blazer with not a lapel out of place (the search is still continuing by the way – thank you for everyone’s suggestions!) and now it seems; the classic, basic t-shirt.

Like many of you, my search for the t-shirt of my dreams has been blemished by series of misguided purchases and a lot of trial and error. I’ve navigated these treacherous waters by pinning my hopes on a variety of styles, fabrics, price points and labels; only to see each and every one of them retire from my wardrobe by summer’s end.

It just so happened that as I walked into Sportsgirl for the first time in months the other day, I stumbled across some potential and at a much friendlier price point than the T by Alexander Wang options I had otherwise been considering (sight unseen, mind you).

I walked out of the store with a white and a textured grey one (the two colours every person should own in a t-shirt) however, my brief was tight:

Round, crewneck 

As my style evolves, I find that I’m favouring necklines that cover my collarbone, as opposed to rather unflattering v-necks and scoop necks that, from the voice of experience, stretch out and misshapen over time.

I love that this Sportsgirl t-shirt embodies a wide, double-stitched crew neck (it’s all in the details).

Sleeve length

Sleeves that are truncated to just below the shoulders (think cap sleeves) are so unflattering on me. I prefer a sleeve that’s long enough to cuff a couple of times) as opposed to a half-sleeve that tapers to the elbow.

These ones by Sportsgirl come pre-cuffed (and actually stitched). I’ve been toying with the idea of unpicking the stitches to expose an organic cuff with a raw edge. Nothing turns me off more than an overly contrived, perfectly flat cuffed t-shirt.

Sleeve width

I don’t like them too clingy but not boxy or quasi-kimono style, either. Meeting me in the middle is all I ask.

Length

Nothing that extends past the hip, and no asymmetrical hemlines.

Fabric

I’m in two camps about this one. I love (always have, always will) an element of transparency to my t-shirts – I think there’s something just so modern about it. Think more mottled linen (like the classic Slub tees by Country Road or the Zara shirts Garance Dore once proclaimed were pretty close to her ideal) as opposed to the jersey/rayon blend at Alexander Wang and Helmut Lang – both of which I find pill and pull after a few light wears.

And then there’s the ones made of a lovely, thick brushed cotton (like Alexander Wang’s Supima blend) which offers a lot more structure, shape, an enduring quality and the unfailing ability to hold its own on any given occasion.

I love that my Sportsgirl tees tick all of the above boxes – and the fact that I only had to sacrifice a weeks’ worth of coffee for one of these shirts pretty much means I was sold on the spot.

Cabin Fever.

Lover blush tuxedo jacket, Helmut Lang grey kinetic t-shirt, Nobody Beau jeans, Christian Louboutin Pigalle pumps, Celine purse.

I’ve been laying low a little over the past few days, bunkered down with holiday planning, packing lists, and some pretty awful neck and back pain which came on abruptly and mysteriously over the weekend. Resultantly, I’ve been in bed for more hours of the day than not; my mood very much aligned with the God-awful rainy weather of late.

I have, however, been productive this week; coming across the plain, basic t-shirt of my dreams (at last!) which I can’t wait to tell you all about shortly.

Sunday notes.

Sifting through old polaroids from my Europe honeymoon and adding my new Morrison greige linen cuffed trousers to my packing list.

Paris.

source

The countdown is officially on – 15 days until I fall in love with Paris all over again.

Our first stop? Pain au Chocolat and croissants aux amandes from a hole-in-the-wall boulangerie owned by a lovely gentleman on Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis in the 10th arrondissement. He did not speak a word of English but, to tell you the truth, it’s just the way we like it when travelling. Who needs English when food is a language that seems to hold its own no matter where you are in the world?

It has been two and a half years since we enjoyed every bite of the most crumbliest, delicious almond croissant in the entirety of our lives. I have missed Europe and Paris every day since.

In the mood for blues.

So, I’m finally embracing denim this spring.

Along the way I discovered that shopping for jeans is much like looking for love. I had written off denim over the past half-decade, convincing myself that they weren’t really my ‘type’. Everyone else seemed to find their own can’t-live-without jeans so effortlessly, whilst I resigned myself to admire forlornly from the sideline.

Well, it turns out that I only needed to look a little harder – or maybe even not at all – for the perfect pair to fall unexpectedly into my lap. And it – or they – did. The past two weeks have seen me add more pairs of jeans to my wardrobe than probably the last five years alone.

This time around, though, I’ve decidedly gone for more relaxed, boyfriend styles in the interests of comfort and concealing those boxing calves I have somehow acquired over the past few months. It’s unfortunate and unfair that whilst the rest of me is shrinking (including my ring finger, which is annoying) my calves and quadriceps seem to be expanding.

So I was glad to have stumbled across these Scanlan & Theodore low-rise boyfriend jeans (worn above) as well as the Nobody Beau distressed jeans in ecru recently, which are not only a great fit but also insanely comfortable to get around in. Seems like it really was worth waiting for The One.

Or Two.

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The Perfect Black Blazer.

The timeless black blazer has long been an essential part of my wardrobe. I’ve been content with a couple of well-cut tuxedo jackets from Witchery for a little while now, but I think it’s about time for an update.

I’m on the lookout for something slim-fitting and longline, with minimal embellishments and a great lapel. Something that I can throw over a pair of oversized, ripped jeans and still look pulled together (with the help of high-heeled pumps of course!).

I’ve rounded up some inspiration in the form of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Dries van Noten, YSL, Stella McCartney and Balmain. I can always count on Stella McCartney, especially, to come up with something that’s eternal and also wearable.

For now though, I’m looking to Saba and Scanlan & Theodore for something a little closer to home that won’t break the budget!

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Sydney Photo Diary.

1. Under the Bridge / 2. Room 10, Potts Point / 3. Under the Bridge and a clear, blue sky. The weather was perfection. / 4. Sarnies at Room 10 (highly recommended!) / 5. Straight off the plane and to this view of Elizabeth Bay / 6. Breakfast at Bird & Bear Boathouse / 7. A view of Sydney’s icons / 8. Ginger & Lime Brulee tarts at Bourke St Bakery (as delicious as it sounds) / 9. Magnifique! / 10. “Relax”. 

I was primarily in town for Vogue Fashion’s Night Out but decidedly set aside a day to explore a city I first fell madly in love with many years ago.

On the agenda: breakfast at Bird & Bear Boathouse, a little retail therapy on Glenmore Road, a pitstop for sweets at Bourke Street Bakery, exploring Surry Hills on foot, lunch at Room 10 and then spending the rest of the afternoon in good company with the Harbour Bridge and the perfect Sydney weather; before tackling FNO… but more on this shortly!

I’m missing Sydney already but knowing I’ll be back at the end of next month for a friend’s wedding is keeping the wanderlust at bay!

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Opera Ballerina.

I can’t remember the last time I painted my nails fire-engine red or black satin.

I’ve been obsessed with nude, albicant nail polishes since the start of autumn and it seems as though there’ll be no letting up through spring and the upcoming summer.

This weekend has been the first time in about two or three weeks that I’ve had an opportunity to catch my breath and finally devote some time to painting a new colour on my nails. What girl doesn’t love a fresh, glossy manicure?

For those who are wondering, I’m wearing L’Oreal ‘Opera Ballerina’, above.

And to those of you on Facebook, join in the conversation with me here! You’ll be the first in the know as I bring you exclusive and exciting updates on this blog.

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Preppy.

Witchery shirt with gold studded embellishment, Lover lace romper, Celine purse, Christian Louboutin patent pumps.

I’m back from Sydney – exhausted – but can’t wait to update you all on how Vogue Fashion’s Night Out unfolded, as well as how the super short break from work was very much-needed.

In the meantime, hope you enjoy this new outfit post!

Beetlejuice.

As I hinted at last week, I’m thrilled to be hopping on a plane bound for Sydney tomorrow, where I’ll be joining the Vogue Australia team to celebrate all things shopping at Fashion’s Night Out on Thursday.

I’m also really excited to be swapping Perth’s dismal rainy spring weather for Sydney’s summer-esque temperatures, even just for a short little while. I’m packing these new striped espadrilles I purchased from Seed over the weekend, otherwise known as the perfect travel summer shoe, without the Chanel price tag.

Can’t wait to see some of you at Vogue’s FNO on Thursday!

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Florals for spring.

A closer look at my favourite Country Road dress that was featured on Vogue’s Spy Style yesterday.

I’m going to admit that the only reason this dress works on my vertically challenged self is because I took up the hem by about 1.5 inches – a little trick I do to most of my dresses that are designed for 6 foot model types! I find that a lot of things in your wardrobe can be solved by simply trimming the hem by a notch or with a bit of clever tailoring.

If you haven’t already, head over to vogue.com.au to see the rest of my post!

P.S. thank you so much to each and every one of you for your tweets, tumblr replies, instagram messages and texts of support in light of my Cosmopolitan nomination yesterday and, of course, my Spy Style debut! It really is so appreciated, thank you.

Vogue Spy Style.

I’m very pleased and privileged to announce that I have joined Vogue Spy Style as their newest blogger!

I’ll be blogging for Vogue Australia on all things travel, lifestyle and fashion, with the first post on my style notes for spring up now. 

I’d love to have each and every one of you come on board with me in what is such an exciting time for myself and A Minute Away From Snowing.

The one thing I’m looking most forward to is sharing my upcoming European holiday on the Spy Style network at the end of this month – don’t miss it!

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Nomination.

I am so excited to announce A Minute Away From Snowing has been chosen as a 2013 Cosmopolitan Australia Fun, Fearless Female award nominee in the Blogger category.

I feel amazingly humbled to be nominated alongside some of Australia’s most inspiring and impossibly talented group of bloggers – some of whom I count as daily reads of mine. I also am so excited to be doing Perth proud!

My husband only discovered A Minute Away From Snowing a year ago after he cottoned onto the fact that I was spending more time with tumblr than with him. As for my mum? Well, she still doesn’t know. She didn’t approve of Kisses and Punches (going as far as forcing me to tear it down from the internet – and I almost did) so I don’t know what she’ll think of this one.

The truth is, I never, ever wanted anyone to find out about this blog. I squirrelled it away as best and as much as I could, in a desperate bid to stay anonymous after years of regurgitating my sob stories and everybody knowing about it. I was kind of like the WordPress version of Taylor Swift. To my ex-boyfriends, I’m sorry. As I’m certain some of you, by the end of it, were gauging your eyeballs out (because I was) about always writing about being down in the dumps and being continually ‘dumped’, I decided to start afresh with this blog: a fluffy, superficial, peripheral escape from being stuck in 9 to 5 corporate hell.

But then A Minute Away from Snowing became so much more than that and I chose to embrace it. I started receiving emails and messages from my readers confiding in me with their incredibly inspiring and harrowing life stories. I’ve been stopped in the shopping mall by some of you just to thank me for how much sharing a little of my life has yielded a breath of fresh air in yours. What you don’t realise that it’s you, my reader, that is responsible for kickstarting this old heart.

It’s this beautiful heartbeat that has inspired me to build a little serenity nook in one corner of the internet that has become so much more than a running commentary of the clothes I wear. My parents’ lifelong dream was to make a new and simple life and home for themselves in Australia and to ensure that their children could, too. And in A Minute Away from Snowing, I have found a place to call home. I hope this has found you, too.

To read about me and the rest of the nominees, and cast a vote for your favourite 2013 Fun Fearless Female, head to www.cosmopolitan.com.au/funfearlessfemale

Thanks for your support over the past few years, everyone! Happy voting x

Winter white.

Nothing epitomises the first day of spring better than a crisp, white shirt and a pair of Celine rosy-hued sunglasses. 

Coupled with some printed accessories purchased today from Seed (how did I only just discover this store?) and I’m all set for the arrival of cerulean skies, copious amounts of ginger beer consumed on the back porch, and sun-drenched afternoons all to myself.

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On Clare Bowditch.

I had both the privilege and pleasure of seeing Clare Bowditch play on Friday night.

Granted, I haven’t seen a single episode of Offspring (yes, I realise I may lose friends after admitting that) but Clare simply blew me away with the way she sung and spoke from deep inside that heart of hers.

One thing she reiterated to the audience during her show really resonated with me. I thought I’d share it with you all because it’s the way I have always tried to approach this blog of mine as well as life offline.

“What others think of you is none of your business.”

It is such a beautifully powerful but achingly simple reminder to live your life by.

I’ve had Clare’s song, One Little River (beautifully covered by Helen Shanahan, here) on repeat all day and it inspires me in much the same way.

For so long I have put my dreams on someone else’s shelf, burying all these hopes and fears of mine. I’ve wistfully admired the light from afar, even though my heart had always spoken a different truth.

But now? Now I’m choosing happiness. And I’m putting those dreams back on my mantlepiece.

Go, go, go.