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September round-up 1
A round-up of what I got up to this month.
At the start of September, I decided I needed to get off the couch more (metaphorically and literally). I've learnt that I feel more productive and tend to procrastinate less when I have a busier schedule, and I feel a sense of satisfaction every time I look at my iCalendar and diary (can't live without those) and see each day filled up with tasks (colour-coded and categorised of course, because geek). I also decided that I quite like the idea of having adventures (I had always thought of myself as a creature of habit) so I made an effort to go on more outings with friends and explore my own city. I was pleasantly surprised by how inexpensive some of these outings were.

Here are some of the things that I got up to this month:


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As a celebration of starting our own little business (which has sadly come to an end), my friends and I decided to indulge in a hotel breakfast buffet one morning. While I can never not love pigging out on bacon, smoke salmon, eggs and hash brown, the buffet at Glass Brasserie left us a little disappointed, with a drink selection of only black coffee and English breakfast tea (otherwise extra costs apply to other hot drink options, such as lattes and cappuccinos). Nonetheless, I loved the inclusion of coconut chia pudding in their breakfast menu, and we got an amazing floor-to-ceiling window view of the Queen Victoria Building, sans traffic noise.


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Whilst the original plan was to visit the coffee trade show The Coffee Experience (which we did, and it was fine, but unbeknownst to us coffee noobs, it was meant for professional baristas sourcing coffee beans and equipment for their cafes - duh), the highlight of the day was stumbling across the EQ Village Markets at Moore Park. Think fresh food, fresh flowers, organic soap and handmade/homemade everything against a backdrop of live music. We also dropped by the trusty Bourke Street Bakery and loaded up on savoury and sweet pies. To die for.


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On this beautiful Sunday, my friend and I enjoyed a quiet brunch in the courtyard of the Hyde Park Barracks Museum before heading to the Art Gallery to see the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize exhibits. I was surprised that it had taken me so long to come to the Art Gallery - not only was its location not inconvenient to get to, the cost of my ticket was inexpensive and I had a great morning being amazed by the quality of all the artworks (especially the Young Archie competition which put my stick figures to shame).


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After accidentally sleeping in till 12pm (accident, I swear), my friend dragged me out for lunch at Johnny Lobster in Crows Nest, and I am so glad she did. Thoroughly enjoying the great food and the impeccable branding and interiors, the highlight of the meal was Green Juice with apples, gin and cucumber (try first before you judge us for having alcohol for lunch...) We then headed to Milson's Point on a whim for a leisurely walk along the water, which we affectionately named the Santa Monica of Sydney (and continuously reassured by our well-traveled friend that it is nothing like Santa Monica). Sydney, why so pretty for?

Are there any places in Sydney that you would recommend visiting?

Nothing thrills me like (a) snail mail and (b) curating gift boxes, so when Austravel invited me to put together a gift box for UK blogger Sarah as part of their Austravel Blogger Exchange, I immediately said yes.

There were so many Aussie brands that I wanted to include, yet I also wanted to exclude cliché souvenirs (how many koala keyrings have we all got in our drawers somewhere?) In the end, I decided that I had to include some Aussie classics like the mandatory Vegemite, TimTams (but with the special touch of Australia’s dessert God Adriano Zumbo), and the all-purpose Lucas’ Papaw Ointment. What was more difficult was choosing which quality Aussie brands to include. In the end, I decided to include Grown Alchemist, Kikki K and Gorman, three amazing brands that I believe are not well-known in the UK market and that I wanted to introduce to Sarah.

About three weeks later, I received my own blogger box from Sarah filled with UK goodies. It’s always difficult to buy for a complete stranger, but I love everything that Sarah selected, including Jaffa Cakes which I’ve heard of and always wanted to try. I especially enjoy the beautiful lilac BarryM nail polish, which I slapped on over a pot of tea and some Jaffa Cakes. It’s also interesting to see how many brands have made their way to Australia, such as Rimmel, House of Holland, Cadbury and Topshop.

Thanks Austravel and the lovely Zoe from Sense PR for including me in the program! Don’t forget to check out Austravel’s interesting interactive campaign.

This post was sponsored by Austravel.
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I used this bouquet of flowers recently whilst shooting a cake for Copper & Rose, and whilst it was a beautiful arrangement (and purple being my favourite colour), I found myself loving the bouquet even more a few days later when the flowers had begun to wilt. Shooting in the late afternoon and taking advantage of the last of the sun rays, I'm quite chuffed with the results: the graininess from the lack of light and wilting flowers give a filmy, scanned effect to what I would describe as a masculine floral mess. 

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Long gone are the days of Clearasil (and my teenage laziness over cleansing my face morning and night. Please. MSN emoticon conversations calling.) These mornings (and nights) I take a lot more care over the state of my skin. Here are some of the products that I’ve been trusting my body with:

AESOP /  After a two-year stint with Clinique, I finally shifted my allegiance to Aesop last year. Aesop has garnered a cult blogger following not least because of its stellar Instagram-worthy laboratory-style packaging. But I’ve got to say that their products do work, and they work well. With my bottle of Fabulous FaceCleanser in need of a re-fill (which I’ll probably do instead of switching to an alternative cleanser), I’ve greatly enjoyed waking up to its non-commercial scent and texture, which leaves my skin feeling smooth like a baby’s bottom. I also gladly replaced my Clinique toner with the B & Tea Balancing Toner, favouring it for its non-alcoholic green tea content which doesn’t leave my skin stinging. And while I’m not a big fan of smelling like a citrus fruit in the morning, there is no denying that the Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream does exactly what it says on the tin.

ADORN /  Battling Sydney’s humid weather and struggling with a lack of energy, I like to add a few spritzes of Adorn’s organic rosewater to my face to freshen up between commitments. It comes in a handy handbag-sized bottle which means you do not have to splash water all over your face in the public bathroom in order to WAKE UP.

GROWN ALCHEMIST & KOSMEA /  There are a couple of other cult blogger products worth mentioning. On my hands I often enjoy using the Grown Alchemistintensive hand cream. It’s made of Persian rose and argan extract, which may result in your friends remarking that your hands “smell like my grandma”, but leaves you with smooth, nourished, non-greasy skin. The other is Kosmea’s organic rose hip oil. Its handy applicator (a reminder of good old torturous high-school chemistry days) makes it easy to apply a few drops to my skin, which just drinks this stuff up.

MUJI /  Ah. My love Muji. For those of you who haven’t heard of this Japanese brand (Muji actually means ‘no-brand quality products’)…It. Is. Amazeballs. I can, and want to, live there, because Muji produces everything from clothing to stationery to food to bed frames to makeup…and they are all high quality products. I picked up these bath salts a while ago, and whilst I’ve never been good at having me-time, it was the perfect oooh-ahhh pick-me-up after a long day. Muji, when are you coming to Sydney in all your Japanese perfection glory?
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