Style Unearthed in Melbourne

IMG_0118_2Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

Last week, we flew to Melbourne for my cousin’s wedding. We were lucky enough to have a day and a half in the city before we ventured out past the Dandenongs and wine country to witness their vows. It was a fantastic few days, and much needed time out. We shopped, ate, drank, walked, talked, spent time with family, and penguin spotted at the aquarium. I thought I would share a few photos of our trip – we’re already planning our next one.

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A friendly turtle at the aquarium. This guy (or gal, not sure) played with us through the glass for about five minutes. It trailed our hands, opened and closed it’s mouth and really stared at us. It was such a lovely experience, and certainly not something I will forget in a hurry. I would love to swim with turtles in Hawaii – another entry for the bucket list.

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We spent a lot of time with the penguins. The were nesting, so we saw day and week old babies which was very special. They’re cheeky little creatures, stealing pebbles from each others’ nests when penguins went to feed. Apparently they’re very particular about they’re pebbles – they like to make the most interesting nest, so choose different sizes and shapes. I could have watched them waddling around for hours.

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Despite lots of rain, we did actually have some sun. The Yarra even sparkled! Southbank is a beautiful place to wander, with lots of restaurants to choose from. We ate near the casino one night at an Italian restaurant, which was beautiful. The second night was at an old favourite, Taco Bill. My husband and I first ate there when we visited in 2008, and by pure coincidence we had the same table this time, but with two children in tow! Frosty drinks and fantastic fajitas were the order of the night.

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With the kids being dairy free, desserts can sometimes be a little bit tricky. Sorbets and fruit based gelatos are usually safe options, and they were delighted to discover this nitrogen gelato bar. They chose a pineapple and coconut flavour, which was poured into a mixer in liquid form. When the liquid nitrogen was added, the gelato solidified (in a cloud of smoke!). They loved their dessert (and the show!), and it tasted pretty great too.

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While we’re on the topic of dairy free, it can often be hard to find snacks and treats while you’re out and about. We went to Koko Black for hot chocolates, and I ordered the kids babycinos on soy milk. The lady was completely on the ball, telling me they came with a chocolate teddy bear and because I’d ordered soy she would give them the dark chocolate version because they didn’t have dairy. The kids were thrilled, and I was ultra impressed that someone took the initiative to make their treat extra special with a small gesture.

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We did lots of browsing the shops, and a little buying. I revelled in being half a block away from big department stores, which I normally would need to travel an hour into the city for. A Zara jumper came home with me, as did a gorgeous pair of sunglasses. I couldn’t help playing with the Marc Jacobs shoes in Myer. Look at all these reduced stickers, just begging to walk out of there with you!

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Later in the week we had a trip on Puffing Billy, an old steam engine situated in Belgrave, about an hour from Melbourne. I had fond memories of riding it as a child, and couldn’t wait for our little ones to experience it as well. They had a ball, hanging their legs out the windows as is custom and having their faces filled with steam.

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We had a picnic at the lake, and stretched our legs. The locals even got a treat or two (lucky they were tame – and cheeky).

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I have lots of photos for the wedding, but won’t share them without the permission of the bride and groom. The ceremony and reception were held in the grounds of the bride’s grandparents’ house – picture sprawling lawns, a lily covered pond, a river and even a Hobbit house. We had a lovely afternoon with family, even though the weather wasn’t in our favour. I wore the spotted dress I shared a few weeks ago, and added a blazer for warmth. If I had my time over again I would have worn wedges – stilettos do not mix well with wet grass!

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While it was only a quick trip we had a fantastic time. I’m looking forward to heading back soon and exploring more of the city and surrounds.

Have you been to Melbourne? What do you love to do there? Been to any weddings lately?

What to Pack in Your Cosmetic Bag

 

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This week we’re off on a small holiday. My cousin is getting married, and we’re squeezing in a few days sight seeing as well. Given that I haven’t been on a plane for four years, I’m rather excited! Of course packing has been on my mind, so I thought I would dedicate a few posts to packing for short trips.

Today we’re going to look at what to pack in your cosmetic bag when you’re only travelling for a short amount of time. It can be incredibly tricky to fit all your lotions and potions into a small bag, especially if you’re sharing with family. Here are my 10 essential items for you to include in your beauty bag.

1. The cosmetic bag itself

I saw some beautiful MOR cosmetic bags last week, and fell in love with this monochrome patterns. This London foldout bag is a fantastic size, and folds up into a small case. I like the way it is sectioned off, so you can store things in categories so they are easy to find. One of my pet dislikes is having to dig around in my cosmetic bag trying to find some small item.

2. Your favourite fragrance

Perfume is a simple way to give yourself a lift when you are tired from travelling. My favourite fragrance is Chanel’s Allure. I have a large bottle at home, but always feel slightly nervous when I travel with it. A glass bottle does not mix with squashed bags, whether it be in the boot of a car or the bottom of a plane. A travel or purse pack can be a great option. They’re packed in hardy cases, and are made for travel.

3. Eyeshadow palette

Eyeshadow palettes are a great way to save space – you have multiple colours to choose from in one small compact. The colours are often complimentary, so you can use them to contrast or create a smokey eye. I love these Natio palettes. They’re affordable, feel great, and not tested on animals.

4. Lip gloss or lipstick

Whether you wear lip gloss and lipstick often or not, a small slick of it can really add some polish to an outfit. Choose a neutral colour to add some shine, or be bold with a bright colour. These Natio glosses are creamy and not sticky when applied. It lasts well, and does not need to applied too often.

5. BB cream

I have sung the praises of BB cream before. It gives a smooth coverage and evens out skin tone. It is perfect to take away on holidays, as you can leave the foundation at home. It moisturises and tints the skin, evening out your skin tone.

6. Day creme

It’s no secret that the air conditioning on planes and in hotel rooms can dry out your skin, even on a short trip. A thick day creme can be a life saver on dry skin. I will take my favourite Pure Fiji creme, which works well with my cleanser.

7. Shower gel

This Original Source shower gel is my current favourite. It smells like a strawberry milkshake and is just delicious! Original Source don’t test on animals which wins big brownie points from me. The bottles are not too huge – a good size to tuck inside your cosmetic bag.

8. Cleanser

It’s important to keep up with your face cleaning routine, even on holidays. Different food, alcohol, pollution and the aforementioned air conditioning can upset your skin, so packing your cleanser and creams is a good idea. If you use make up pads to apply your cleanser, don’t forget to pack a few as well.

9. Deodorant

This is a must-pack item (it goes without saying!). While a roll on may be a little heavier, it is smaller and takes up less room. My favourite is the Nivea Invisible that doesn’t leave white marks on dark clothing. It offers great all day protection and is a great option when you’re on the go, toting bags.

10. Travel containers

These little containers are a great invention. They rose in popularity when travellers were limited in the amount of liquids they were allowed to carry on board planes. This Korjo set is from Officeworks, of all places! It’s great as it includes a small spray bottle and pump pack for different creams and spritzes.

Other essentials to remember:

* Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss.

* Any medications – if travelling overseas make sure you carry a note from your doctor with your medication, and try to carry it in it’s packet rather than a pill box.

* Shampoo and conditioner if you don’t want to use what is provided in the hotel.

* A small first aid kit, including pain killers and band aids for blisters.

* Mascara and concealer – essentials for me, but I can do without them if need be!

* Hair dryer, straightener and hair brush.

* Razor (if you use one).

If you’re traveling overseas, it is a good idea to pack a small cosmetics bag in your carry on luggage, along with some underwear. This way, if your bag gets lost you still have a few things to freshen you up while you wait for the rest of your things.

You can follow along with my adventures on Instagram @styleunearthed. I’ll be posting lots of pictures!

What are your cosmetic bag essentials? Do you have a specific way that you pack your bag?

 

 

Food, Fashion and Fun

If you have seen my Instagram pictures lately, you would have seen some Diet Coke and some chocolate. That’s right folks, it’s report writing time again. They are my first priority at the moment, so blogging has fallen by the wayside (sorry!). I thought I would squeeze in a quick post while I am eating breakfast, and share a few pictures from the weekend and start of the week.

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Last year, we took part in an international food challenge with a group of friends. Each month we took turns choosing a country out of a hat and then found a restaurant with that cuisine. We’ve tried Korean, German, Turkish, Fillipino (among others) and now Mexican. It has been a great way to get the children to try things they wouldn’t normally eat, and the adults have experienced new tastes and flavours too. As a vegetarian it has sometimes been a little tricky, but there is normally something on the menu for me to try. We went to Mexico Food and Liquor in Surry Hills (Sydney) and it was great. The staff were attentive, wonderful with the kids and the food was lovely. The group snacked on house made corn chips, avocado and salsa while we decided on our mains.

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I decided to try the tomato, cucumber, and roast spiced zucchini salad with achiote dressing. It was nicely presented, and had a good mix of flavours. The portion was just right. I’m not a fussy food connoisseur by any means so can’t describe the technical elements of the flavours to you, but I enjoyed it!

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My other dish was the chickpea patatas with pimento mojo and cucumber pico. I enjoyed these as well, but the sauce was a little on the warm side and I am not a fan of spicy food. I love chickpeas, so it was good to try something new and I will try to replicate these at home without the extra heat. Lunch was a relaxed event and two hours passed in a blink. It’s always the way when sharing a meal with good friends!

We went for a wander up to the David Jones Christmas windows after lunch. It’s always been tradition for me to look at the windows and the huge tree in the QVB in December each year since I was small, but we did part of that a little early this year. I think we will head back in closer to Christmas to soak up some of the festive spirit.

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If you follow me on Instagram (@styleunearthed) you would have seen this picture – I got brave and bought some short shorts. Sure, they’re not short by teenage girl standards, but they are for my twenty-something Mum legs! Target got me again on Friday when I went in for a browse, and a 20% off sale resulted in me walking out with two new wardrobe items. The shirt is a nice, light cotton and perfect for Summer. Saturday was warm, and I debated wearing the top but I wasn’t too hot at all. I will be able to use it for work as well as casual wear. The shorts would also look cute with a tucked in singlet and belt. You can find the shorts here (the navy ones aren’t online). The shirt is not online but here is a sleeveless option. The shoes are from Rubi and are super comfy. Bit of a mess by the end of the day when the photo was taken, but I wanted to show you anyway.

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Last night I had the opportunity to dress up, do my hair and slap some makeup on (unheard of midweek!) and head out with a good friend to a VIP night. I photographed Splendour Interiors for a post I wrote for website Sydney’s Great West. It’s a beautiful shop run by an interior designer and architect. We had fun looking at all of the beautiful products, mingling, and having a chat. The store is divided into different rooms to showcase the home wares and furniture.

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The store currently has wallpaper and rugs designed by Catherine Martin, and they are gorgeous. This was the Gatsby wallpaper (no surprises there!) but there were also beautifully embossed and muted colour choices too. The rugs were stunning, but would need to be housed somewhere with no people, food, or drinks!

So, that has been my week so far! We’re heading off to Melbourne next week for a family wedding, so over the weekend I will share a little about packing for a holiday and some bits and pieces we’re planning to do. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to a little break! In the mean time while it’s a little quite here, please come and chat on Facebook and Instagram as I will still be posting over there. Have a wonderful week.

What have you been up to so far this week? Are you a fan of wallpaper? What is your favourite international cuisine?

Five Ways to Ease Endometriosis Symptoms (Mostly) Naturally

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Endometriosis is a condition that approximately 10 percent of women suffer. It is a painful condition that occurs when the tissue that usual lines the uterus grows outside of the uterine wall.  It causes abdominal pain along with symptoms like heavy periods, nausea and bloating, and can only be properly diagnosed and treated through laparoscopic surgery. If left undiagnosed, it can become incredibly serious and in some cases, cause infertility. It can be hereditary.

I was diagnosed with endometriosis after the birth of my first child, after years of suffering from incredibly painful periods, fainting, being sick and feeling incredibly tired. It interfered with school, and later work with my weekend job at the supermarket being interrupted by fainting spells. I was put on the pill, which helped initially, but after a few years the negatives far outweighed the positives. Having surgery helped my symptoms, and I fell pregnant with my daughter soon after. That was two years ago, and the symptoms have started to return.

A few months ago my symptoms eased a lot. While this may have been a coincidence (and they may have just been building up), I believe it is because at that time I was eating much better and exercising more frequently. It finally twigged that these were probably the reasons why I was feeling better than I had for a while.

I thought I would share my top five ways to ease endometriosis symptoms (mostly) naturally, and hopefully help some other women along the way as it is not a pleasant condition to have.

1. Eat well

It makes sense, but eating less processed food, less sugar and less fat definitely makes a difference to me. Fuelling your body with good food will nourish it and help it run at it’s best. While I definitely have a fondness for chocolate, keeping the rest of my diet relatively healthy eases my symptoms. One of my main symptoms is bloating, so limiting fatty foods makes a big difference to me. I try to eat lots of green vegetables, whole grains and some fruit. As a vegetarian, I need to make sure I still get plenty of protein so try to use ingredients like lentils and beans in my cooking.

2. Drink plenty of water

Water is an integral part of a healthy diet, and really flushes your body of nasties. I try to drink a litre a day (or more if I can stomach it), but it is difficult at work or in Winter time. If you struggle with drinking water, you could try adding a slice of lemon or lime, a dash of low sugar cordial, or a sparkling water (Mount Franklin make a lightly flavoured version that is very tasty). Kikki K make cute daily planners that even let you track your water intake. Try to avoid alcohol and sugary soft drinks.

3. Get moving

Exercise is a major symptom reliever for me. It lessens the pain, bloating and nausea. Something as simple as going for a walk each day can make a big difference. I love yoga and stretching as a pain reliever – downward dog, the up and down cat poses, and child’s pose are my favourites. Exercise has so many other health benefits as well, so you will only have something positive to gain from trying it.

4. Apply heat

Have a hot shower, apply a heat pack, take a warm bath or dig out your hot water bottle – heat is an amazing pain reliever. My favourite thing to use is a wheat pack, but make sure you take care when heating it as there have recently been news reports about fires starting inside the packs. Many wheat packs come with a lavender scent, which can relax you even further. Placing heat on your front or back allows the muscles to relax and it will help to alleviate uncomfortable cramps.

5. Medicinal pain relief

We are lucky that there are now so many pain relief options available to us. Naprogesic and Ponstan are two of the most well known tablets, and work to help relieve symptoms as well as pain. Many well known companies now offer a specific period pain product, but standard ibuprofen works well in my experience. I am not a doctor – please ensure you consult with yours before taking any medicines. While I will often try a non-medicinal remedy in the first instance, I know that the majority of the time I can’t get away with not taking pain relief.

 

Even though these tips may seem like common sense, I hope they will help some women. If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, please go to your doctor to be checked. It can be embarrassing to have to speak about ‘women’s issues’, but it is worth being examined before an issue becomes serious. For more information about endometriosis, please visit Jean Hailes for Women’s Health.

Do you suffer from endometriosis or any other condition? What are your tips to ease pains or help you feel better?

Favourites Unearthed

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It’s been a while between Favourites Unearthed posts. They are a way for me to share new things I have discovered or favourite products, and ask about your favourites in return. This month features a mixture of bits and bobs – hopefully you see something that will become a favourite for you, too!

Pure Fiji Perfecting Lotion*

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I was sent a sample size of this Pure Fiji Perfecting Lotion a few weeks ago. I have been using their Facial Solutions range for the past few months, and it’s no secret that I love it. This lotion is really something else! It is so smooth, and my dry skin soaks it up. It’s perfect for use from your mid-20’s, and promotes skin cell renewal. I noticed that my skin looked smoother, and despite being unwell lately, it’s fooling people and looking quite radiant. There will definitely be a purchase of a full size bottle in my future!

Kikki K Aland Shoulder Bag

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My work bag’s zipper broke this week. It may have been because it is report writing time and it was stuffed to the brim with assessments, but it broke all the same. If this isn’t an excuse for legitimate bag shopping, I don’t know what is! I have been coveting this bag for a long time, but I think at the moment it is still in the ‘dream’ category. Perhaps it could feature on my Christmas list (cough, cough Mr Style Unearthed). This bag would certainly be big enough for a laptop, iPad and a notepad or two. It looks buttery soft, and I love the beautiful tan colour. It’s definitely fresh for Summer!

Country Style Magazine

Country Style Magazine

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This is a beautiful little piece of escapism. I have been reading this magazine for a while, and love the inspiration in it’s pages. The details are well thought out, and the pictures are just gorgeous to look at. Our home is still a major style work-in-progress. I have lots of plans in my head, and these magazines have been a big inspiration. Perfect if you want to treat yourself to a little bit of ‘me’ time.

Sister In Style

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Sister In Style is a website set up by super Mum Fiona, to help women accessorise and feel great. In addition to selling stylish necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets for every occasion, Sister In Style has a handy style guide for accessorising with necklaces. By following the easy instructions (with pictures!) you will be able to match your outfits and necklaces, and leave the house looking great every day. By signing up to receive the cheat sheet, you will also become a VIP Sister In Style and qualify for a special discount. Happy shopping!

What are your current favourite things? Any new products I need to know about?

* This product was sent to me for editorial consideration

Project Move For 30 – How to Fit Exercise into Your Busy Day

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When I celebrated Style Unearthed’s six month blog-iversary, I asked my readers what they wanted to see on this space. One reader asked how I fit exercise into my day, as she was struggling to find time in between caring for two small children. At the moment, it has been hard for me too, so I thought now would be a good time to post this and hopefully re-invigorate myself at the same time. It is so easy for me to make excuses at the moment – assessments need to be marked, reports written, dinners made, washing folded. It’s simple to fall back into old habits and not exercise at all. As a result I have decided to start a new hash tag project, Move For 30.

The Australian government recommend that adults move for at least 30 minutes, most days of the week. While this might seem like a lot, or an inconvenience (where I am going to find an extra 30 minutes when I am already busy?), the good news is that you can easily work this amount of movement into your day through incidental exercise.

While I might plan to go to the gym (and write it on the calendar), it sometimes doesn’t happen. I find that incidental exercise, things I can do at home, or activities that include my kids are fantastic. My gym does not have a creche, so anytime I go there has to be solo, which can make it tricky. Walks with the pram, where my eldest can ride his bike or the dog can tag along are great. We recently bought our daughter a trike that we can push, so that is an extra way for us all to get moving. Doing an exercise DVD or YouTube video is an easy exercise for home, as is doing push ups using your kitchen bench. A few yoga poses can help you start the day in the right way, and as long as you’re getting your heart rate up a bit, it all contributes towards your 30 minute goal. I put together a little list with some movement inspiration.

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All of these exercises will contribute to your 30 minute per day quota. You will be surprised at how quickly they add up once you get started. Moving by just a small amount more can make a massive difference to your health (both mental and physical) and leave you feeling great.

How to join in

Simply post a photo to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag movefor30. You could also add the hashtag to a status update, if you prefer. Make you sure remember to @styleunearthed so I can follow your progress!

Will you join in the #movefor30 project? How do you integrate movement into your day?