Marzipan & Honey.

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Downtime is a word I haven’t used in a while.

It’s been around six weeks since I quit the day job and although I’ve been so lucky to take on a few more projects (which – don’t get me wrong, are so rewarding and so exciting), it has left me updating my blog at midnight, in bed, in my PJs. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my upcoming work with you, though, starting next week where I’ll be spending a few days in Melbourne to shoot something I’ve been planning for months now.

In the meantime, though, when it gets all too much and when I can steal a couple of hours for myself, I discovered all I need is a slice of carrot cake, a cup of tea, an hour before sunset, and my own company soaking up the languid haze of the late afternoon in forgotten corners of my favourite cafe.

The principles of lust.

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Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield watch, Scanlan & Theodore navy shorts, Witchery shirt, Celine Trapeze bag.

I feel like I’ve been so absent from everything this week; the past few days have been characterised by a never-ending cycle of deadlines, late nights, coffee, coffee, deadlines, coffee.

I had a meeting yesterday morning so I retreated to the simple classics in my outfit; a minimalist timepiece, a relaxed-fitting button-down, and a pair of navy cotton shorts. Because sometimes all you really need are the classics and the refined essentials to convince yourself you’ve got your shit together.

P.S. One last spot has opened up for this weekend’s blogging workshop. I was up until 3am yesterday prepping for it which can only mean that it’s going to be pretty awesome (whilst I, on the other hand, will be a tad sleep deprived). A delicious lunch + drink will be served, as well as tons of amazing freebies and blogging resources! If you missed out on a ticket (because they sold out fast!) and keen to come along, just click here.

To those who were lucky enough to secure a spot, I can’t wait to meet you all this Saturday! Argh, what to wear though?

As simple as simple gets.

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One of the things I looked forward to most after giving up the day job was the prospect of sleeping in. Tossing aside the bed covers in my own time. Drawing the curtains to see the first light. Making breakfast – a proper breakfast. And spending the rest of the day decidedly make-up free, and hair undone in an awkward abandonment.

The only thing I’ve yet to master is being home at the right time to catch the postman. Four weeks and I’m still doing this silly dance with UPS.

Breakfast, however, is starting to come together. The question of whether I can buy avocados or smoked salmon and still come under the weekly grocery budget remains unanswered, so this week it’s all about the oatmeal, bagel and waffle breakfasts. I started my Tuesday (because – let’s be real here – starting things on Mondays never happen) with an apple, almond and coconut oatmeal bowl. I didn’t immediately warm to the idea of combining apple with oats but this was surprisingly really good.

It feels silly to post a ‘recipe’ to be honest, because all I really did was warm up a bowl of oats with milk in the microwave, then drizzled over it with honey. For the topping: I sliced half a Fuji apple (word to the wise: slice it thinly if you’re going to be Instagramming this…), then grabbed a handful of almond and coconut flakes (the more, the merrier!).

I also took the chance to refresh my home with new bowls and serving plates from Country Road. The Dias oakwood oval plate (above) is a favourite as it’s served so many different purposes already. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be capturing my #countryroadstyle homewares (and accompanying breakfasts) on Instagram (because, $1000 gift card)! The best part is, you can take part in it too.

Before the madness.

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Conversations with April prompted me to revisit a series of photographs from a road trip I took along WA’s south-west a few months back. It still amazes me that these photos were taken on the same afternoon (except for the Yallingup Bakery one) before and after the storm clouds rolled in.

As I sifted through these photos and devoured all of its sombre shades of greys and blues, it made me realise that this is the only place in maybe the world where summer is as photogenic as the winter. And that change – of the impulsive, heart-stirring, spontaneous kind – is always, always, a good thing.

Photographs by Michelle and Jamie.

It comes in waves.

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A quick hello before the weekend’s up.

As I prepare to rush to the airport tonight to bid my best friend of half my life bon voyage (she’s booked a one-way ticket to embark on a maybe permanent life/career move to Canada – and I’ll be bringing along the Kleenex tonight, no doubt), you can catch up with the fun I’ve been up to lately over here.

Mondays have otherwise become my favourite day of the week since giving up the day job. There’s something so fresh, so brand new, so promising and anticipative, and so hopeful about Mondays.

Three feet deep.

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Life right now is veined with simple gold: omelettes and cleanskins for dinner. Milo in my old clothes. Drunk tulips on my desk. Sleeping in on Monday mornings. Apple pie on Tuesday night.

The past few weeks of hitting the pause button have taught me something about happiness maybe being a beautiful alchemy, and an epiphany that’s always been half in shadow but come to light quicker than I had expected:

That even though I’m lying awake at 3am thinking about how I’m going to pay the mortgage at the end of the month; I’ve actually never been happier.

Because there’s something so simple and empowering about not missing what you can’t have, and never craving the life you once had.

A little something something.

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Whilst preparing to post some pretty cool content this week (think Paris travel guides…) I also thought it was time to find wonderful new homes for some of my designer bags that unfortunately rarely see the light of day anymore.

My pale sky blue Celine Trio, Alexander Wang Emile, YSL BDJ clutch, some Valentino Rockstud and old-school Balenciaga are now the newest and probably chic-est ever additions to my Tictail store, all from my personal closet.

You can discover it all for yourself HERE.

P.S. I’m also offering FREE express post (within Australia) on all handbag purchases made within the next 24 hours and gladly accept PayPal.

Spearmint Dreams.

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I’ve been spending the sunny weekend in mint coats, oversized shirts and bare legs, whilst also adding a plethora of new items to my Tictail store.

A bit of Lover, a lot of Acne, some chambray, winter coats and knits, as well as some of my denim favourites by Scanlan & Theodore & Saba are now live on aminuteawayfromsnowing.tictail.com. Would love for you to check it out and perhaps even snaffle up a bargain or two!

In the meantime, here’s a small preview of an upcoming post. I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking of my spring wardrobe!

Sartorially Speaking.

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Country Road knit jacket, blush silk shirt and tweed print pants, Benah pouch, Christian Louboutin Pigalle pumps.

As far as winter’s concerned, one of my favourite tricks in the office sartorial book involves mixing textures and silhouettes to elevate drab, winter colours.

Throwing an oversized knitted blanket coat over a pair of tweed print pants and a silk blouse in a delicate pink to soften the greys and blacks, usually does the trick. To me, it’s always the things that aren’t immediately obvious as well: loosely tuck the shirt into the trousers to define your shape and create the illusion of a longer/leaner leg line. The hem of your pants should also just graze the back of your heel – I tend to wear mine an inch or so above my heels or flats. And given the explosion of textures, it’s always best to keep to a simple, three-colour palette for your outfit.

Whilst most of my ‘work wardrobe’ has been relegated to mostly weekday meetings now, I still can’t resist a good, healthy dose of relaxed tailoring.

Photographs by Jamie.

Style File: The Black Pants

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Whilst thinking about what to pack in my suitcase for next month’s Europe trip that has quickly crept up on me, it occurred to me that the one thing I never get on a plane without is a pair of go-to black pants.

I unashamedly own about a dozen black pants in all sorts of sizes, cuts and for all occasions and are invariably the first things I reach for when I’m having one of those ‘I have nothing to wear’ days. Tasked with quickly putting together an outfit in the morning, I almost always end up with a black pants, striped shirt or sweater, and leather lace-up oxfords (or ballerina flats) combination.

With the Matches sale in full swing, I thought I’d do the hard work for you and pull together my pick of the bunch – from Isabel Marant sweatpants (I own a pair and they’re seriously good) and quirky 3.1 Phillip Lim ankle-grazers, to high-waisted relaxed pants (I love wearing a billowy silk shirt with them) and finally to the infallible cigarette/matchstick trousers that have seen me through god knows how many years on office rotation. Wardrobe essentials and staples like these are always worth investing in, but I tend to wait until sale season starts to really get my money’s worth.

1. 3.1 Phillip Lim Polka-dot silk-cotton cropped trousers

2. Acne Studios wool-blend Karma tailored trousers

3. Isabel Marant Étoile Kiana cotton sweatpants

4. Lover high-rise tailored trousers

5. Sportmax tapered tailored trousers

I can also always rely on ASOS for decent quality and well-cut black pants for work, that’ll still give me loose change for my morning coffee! These are a few of my favourites:

Clean Peg Pants | Tailored Pants with High-Waist (or buy two and save) | Slouch hammered crepe peg trousers 

The Art of Blogging Workshop.

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I have this profound inability to say no to things that come my way, because I’ve somehow been coaxed into hosting a blogging workshop in Perth with the amazingly inspiring team over at The Creatives.

I’ll be presenting The Art of Blogging workshop on Saturday 26th July from 10am to 2pm, where I’ll give you free reign to ask me whatever your heart desires when it comes to the world of blogging (no when-are-you-having-kidlets good for nothing questions please – my mother in-law already takes care of that!).

I’ll also show you how to create compelling content and beautiful images, as well as drive traffic to your blog whether you’re blogging for business or for fun. As some of you know, I’ve been blogging personally for almost ten years, am currently blogging for Vogue.com.au and jumped on the corporate blogging train for a little while, too. I’m really excited to be sharing my secrets to running a blog and how to beat the dreaded bloggers’ block. We’ve all been there!

The Art of Blogging workshop will involve a delicious meal (I hear wine might be on the cards, too…), little extras and oodles of networking. Spots are super limited, but I hope that some of may be able to join me as I host my first ever workshop. It’ll be informative and lots of fun (albeit a little scary for me)!

You can reserve your ticket or find out more just by clicking HERE.

It will be so lovely to meet you all!

Something about survival.

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Zara mulberry silk and wool coat, Eska Alikai black cotton tank, Acne Studios wool tuxedo pants, Christian Louboutin Pigalle 100 pumps, Chanel calfskin reissue in anthracite.

These sorts of things have taught me something about survival: Throw-on coats, lazy unkempt hair, a razor sharp pair of pants, a an infallible pair of high heels, and the disconcerting inability to close the door to opportunity when it comes knocking.

If nothing else, there’s something about going on a limb all on your own that teaches you a thing or two about survival.

Photographs by Jamie.

Meet Maria.

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Everyone, meet Maria Van Nguyen, an Oslo-born Parsons student and Acne sales assistant. For years, she’s been unknowingly doing the rounds on my tumblr dashboard and it wasn’t until last night that I finally stumbled across her blog. And it was love.

As an aspiring fashion designer with an unwavering minimalistic personal style and weakness for all things Jil Sander, her post on Wardrobe Checklists and T-Shirts struck a chord with me, and I’m certain it will for some of you, too, so I thought I’d share.

She’s the kind of girl that makes you roll out of bed with a certain dishevelled-ness, fling the doors of your closet wide open, and ask yourself, what would Maria do?

This is my city.

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Those close to me will know that my Benah zip pouch has never left my side since it arrived on my doorstep. I’ve taken to clutching it everywhere – from meetings and quick stops at the grocery store, to easy simple date nights.

With a mutual love affair in mind, Benah turned to me for a mini travel guide to Perth – my take on this ever-sunny, never-wintery kind of city. As some of you may know, I’ve compiled a more lengthy version here for my blog, but if you’d like to discover more of Perth’s secret spots head over to the Benah blog for a mini-guide to my home town.

Thanks for having me, Benah!

60,000 + counting.

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Country Road lip print silk wrap shirt and snap-through midi skirt, Chanel handbag, Christian Louboutin nude patent Décolleté pumps, Ray Ban Aviator sunglasses.

It’s been almost ten years since I first stepped foot into a Country Road store.

It was 2005 and I was a freshly baked graduate. It was also two years into Sophie Holt’s tenure, and the only reason I remember that is because I wrote a 40 page thesis on Country Road’s brand rejuvenation for my third year marketing unit.

As I stood at the counter, I remember buying a black skirtsuit, because that’s what all grads did and wore back then for their first-ever cubicle jobs. It was made of Italian wool, not to mention the most fanciest and expensive thing I had ever bought for myself. But it always made me feel like a million bucks whenever I wore it. Back then, buying a suit made all of us feel extra-important; I was one of many who graduated without a job lined up but my skirtsuit was this beacon of hope and a wistful token of success; symbolising a dream that we’d all grow up, go to work and live happily ever after. My suit saw me through my first ever job interview, the subsequent rejection (the first one is always the worst, but I still remember it as clear as day), and then the next six years of job interview after job interview.

So with nearly a decade of Country Road clothing sitting in my wardrobe, and as a passionate supporter of minimising my contribution to landfill by donating/re-selling my clothes, I’m excited to be teaming up with Country Road this year; throwing my support behind their annual Donate Clothes to Win campaign.

Starting today until this Saturday 5th July, the campaign is calling on all of us, with a CR obsession as perilous as mine, to clear out our wardrobes and drop any Country Road clothes that don’t see the light of day anymore into a local Red Cross store. In doing so, you’ll go into the draw to win a $100 Country Road gift card, with five lucky winners drawn each day. The more Country Road pieces donated, the greater the chance to win (more info can be found here).

From those shoestring longline camisole dresses circa 2008 (my long-time readers and fellow mystylediarists – remember those?) to some of my more corporate pieces that stand no chance next to my current uniform of yoga clothes and tracksuits; I’ve dug them all out to contribute to the 60,000 (and counting) items of Country Road clothing already saved from landfill since the program began in 2010.

In its place, I’m making room for lip prints and midi skirts, which (yes, I’ve already decided, whilst wearing three pairs of socks on my feet and shivering in my igloo of a house) will be on high rotation come spring. I had been eyeing the blouse for the longest time and like my Charlotte Olympia flats, its quirkiness has quickly grown on me. I love that I can pair it with a pair of black cigarette trousers or loosely tucked into a relaxed white skirt – two outfits that will work perfectly for the skirtsuited office job I’ll return to someday.

Photographs by Jamie and Michelle.