A whirlwind weekend in Bali

WHAT a weekend!
I’ve just returned from an amazing three-day weekend in sunny (and stormy) Bali!
My entire family headed over to help my adorable mum celebrate her 60th birthday.
I couldn’t get much time off work so I left on Thursday evening and came back tonight, ready for work on Monday.
The weather was SO HOT, steamy and we saw a few evening storms, but thankfully the rain held off until this morning.
I’ve got another post with more photos here but I wanted to share the outfit I came home in.

Topshop striped cat shirt

I can never resist a shirt with cats on it!

I’d picked up the shirt on Saturday from Topshop and threw in my comfiest pair of shorts while we were packing and heading to the airport. (I had some jeans in my bag for the freezing conditions on the plane.)
I use this fluoro-pink bag as my everyday handbag – it’s big enough to fit everything in and the colour makes me feel happy.
My jelly sandals are never a bad choice and they don’t make my feet hot, even though, being plastic, I thought they would.

Silver glitter jelly sandals

The glitter was an obvious choice for me.

When I fly I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup because I feel my skin suffers enough from the airconditioning and being dehydrated so I went foundation-free today. (I’m actually surprised at how well my skin was behaving — having a relaxing few days definitely helped.)
I just put on mascara, eyeliner, a bit of concealer and an amazing matte lipgloss I picked up on this trip – it’s Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Pink Pong.

Finding good selfie lighting in a hotel room is always a challenge.

Finding good selfie lighting in a hotel room is always a plus.

I’ve never tried matte-finish glosses or lipsticks before but I really love the effect.
The saleswoman billed it as the brand’s 24-hour lip colour and while it didn’t last an entire day, it definitely held up well to food and drinks.
It was great to travel with my entire immediate family (now at 12 people once you count two brothers-in-law, my boyfriend and my brother’s girlfriend) and I’m lucky we get along so well.
I wish I could have stayed longer but at least I got to go at all.
I really wish I was heading to the swim-up bar for cocktails instead of going to work tomorrow, though!

Take me back!

Take me back!

Have you been on a holiday recently? What are your go-to travel outfit choices?
Let me know in the comments!

Print your Instagram photos with Origrami

SO YOU’VE filled your Instagram with lots of pretty pictures… Now what?
A Sydney-based couple came up with a way to stop photos from slipping into obscurity in cyber space.
Through their app, Origrami, you can select and print your Instagram or phone camera roll photos onto retro-style cards and get them delivered right to your door.

Origrami Instagram photo prints

I love a good mail day!

I’d wanted to do this for ages with photos from my Europe holiday.
As I mentioned before in my post about getting over the post-holiday slump, having prints in your hot little hands can make the trip real and remind your sad brain that you did actually go. (Even if it doesn’t feel like it!)

Origrami Instagram photo prints

Okay, I need to go back to Greece now.

There are a range of themes you can pick for your prints and I chose the ‘retroprints’ option – 36 photos with a Polaroid-style white border.
You can also choose what the back of the print looks like and what information it includes.
I selected one that showed the date, caption, geotag location and number of likes the photo had when I posted it to Instagram.
I don’t geotag my photos so that didn’t show up but I mostly wanted it for the caption anyway.
The back of the prints came in a rainbow of colours and are just as pretty as the prints themselves.

Origrami Instagram photo prints

ALL of the colours.

At first I was disappointed about how dull the colours seemed but, as Origrami explain on their website, viewing a photo on your phone with the light from the screen behind it is very different to viewing a print.
They explain the colours also have to be converted for printing and this can also mean a loss of vibrancy.
That was the only problem I had and I love these prints!!

Origrami Instagram photo prints

I also printed some from my recent trip to the Melbourne Cup!

Now I just have to think of a way to display them all.

What are your favourite things to photograph? Would you use a printing service like this?

A golden trip to the beach | photos

I TOOK a trip down to the beach after work yesterday.
I’m house sitting down in Mandurah at the moment. It’s a little place right next to the sea and it means I don’t have to do my usual two-hour per day commute to work.

Madora Bay beach Mandurah Western Australia

I love the time of day when the lights is just golden.

It was deadline day at the paper and it was crazy so it was lovely to be able to get out into the sun. It makes me so happy that it’s still light for a while after I get out of work now – it makes me feel more human.

Madora Bay beach Mandurah Western Australia

Madora Bay beach Mandurah Western Australia

Madora Bay beach Mandurah Western Australia

I like these little tufty plants so much I put them in here twice! They always make me think of summer.

Madora Bay beach Mandurah Western Australia

Madora Bay beach Mandurah Western Australia

I’m in love with the colours in this shot – not edited at all!

Madora Bay beach Mandurah Western Australia

A puppy had been past!

Madora Bay beach Mandurah Western Australia

Madora Bay beach Mandurah Western Australia
It was a lovely way to end the day!
What are your favourite things to do after a long day?

Review: Lime Crime Centrifuschia

I AM absolutely in love with this lipstick.
This is my first purchase from the brand and if their other products live up to this standard, I will be hooked!

Lime Crime Sephora

I’m not sure if this lip liner was always so tiny? I’ve had it for a while.

The makeup line has been taking stores (and Instagram feeds) by storm with their bold, bright and at times unusual lip colours, including blue and lilac.
I hadn’t tried the Lime Crime range before because I’d only seen them online and was hesitant to try a colour I hadn’t seen in person.
But luckily, I spotted a display in a hairdressers while I was in Melbourne recently and the hot pink Centrifuchsia caught my eye.
I’m really enjoying the bold lip look at the moment, especially since I’ve started using lip liners lately.
I paired this lipstick with MAC’s Prep and Prime lip primer and a Sephora pencil lip liner in Funky Fuschia. (Who else is excited for Sephora to open their first Australian store next month?! I know I am!)

Sephora lip liner funky fuschia

Sephora’s funky fuschia lip liner is almost lovely enough to wear on its own!

This lipstick is creamy and rich, goes on smoothly and keeps my lips moisturised.
The thing I love most is its STICKABILITY.
When applied with a lip primer and a lip liner underneath, Centrifuchsia is not going anywhere, even when you’re eating and drinking.
Lip colour that stays put has been a major draw card for me lately as I was getting really tired of bold lip glosses that just didn’t have any sticking power.

Lime Crime Centrifuschia
In short, I can’t wait to try the rest of the range — especially since I’m not afraid of using crazy colours!
Have you used Lime Crime products before? What are your favourites?

Lime Crime range photo Blog of Shadows

Photo by Blog of Shadows

Tiptoe through the tulips at Araluen | photos

A FEW months ago I went with my mum for a day trip out to Araluen Botanic Park for the annual tulip festival.
I’ve never been before but I can see why so many people head there every year – it really was lovely to see the thousands of tulips in every colour, all blooming at once.

Araluen Tulip Festival Perth Western Australia

13

Araluen Tulip Festival Perth Western Australia

Araluen Tulip Festival Perth Western Australia

Araluen Tulip Festival Perth Western Australia

The park would be really tranquil when the tulip festival isn’t on!

Araluen Tulip Festival Perth Western Australia

I love the detail of this delicate frond.

Araluen Tulip Festival Perth Western Australia

I’ll definitely head back next year!

 

Beating post holiday blues

When the good times are over it's hard not to be sad!

When the good times are over it’s hard not to be sad!

POST-HOLIDAY blues are rough.

You come back after this amazing time away and return to the same home, the same job and the same routine. (Not to mention any mess you left behind while you were frantically packing.)

I’ve just come back from a few days in Melbourne and I went on an incredible five-week trip to Europe earlier this year so I know this feeling all too well.

Seeing loads of amazing places can make the boring chores when you return even more dreary.

One moment you’re sailing across crystal clear water in Greece and the next you’re back in the morning traffic.

Heading into the supermarket to try and find something for dinner when you’ve eaten nothing but amazing meals since you left is a bit of an anti-climax.
And don’t even get me started on standing in line at the bank.

One of the worst things people can ask when you return is “are you glad to be home?” Because sometimes, the answer is no.

Getting deep into post-holiday blues can mean you get to the point where you’d push your own mother out of the way if it meant getting on a plane out of here. (Sorry mum.)

I knew I was sad but it took me a while to realise I was actually mourning my holiday.

I’d been planning my trip to Europe for years and I couldn’t believe it was over.

Months down the track I could hardly bear to look at my photos because it made my heart ache with sadness. (OK, I know that seems overdramatic but that’s just how it was.)

You start to second-guess everything you did.

Why didn’t I enjoy the planning stage more and savour every tiny moment of the months leading up to it?

I can’t say I didn’t soak it all up while I was there because I know I did but it’s still hard to think about all the times I was jet lagged so I went to bed early instead of enjoying the Parisian summer.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel though.

 

Here are my top tips for getting over feeling like you want to quit everything and buy a one-way ticket to a tropical island.

  • Unpack straight away. Getting rid of that suitcase and pile of dirty washing can be therapeutic – and chances are you’ll find some nice things you’ve purchased at the same time. This is also a good time to have a clean-out because, if you’re anything like me, there’s probably no room for all of those new clothes in your wardrobe anyway.
  • Learn from your mistakes. As you’re unpacking, check what you didn’t use to help you plan for next time, because no one likes excess baggage fees.
  • Sort out, print and display your photos. I’ll be honest, this one isn’t easy right away, but having a reminder that you really did go and it wasn’t just a dream can be comforting. Actually holding a photo in your hot little hands can make it easier to recall every detail of the scene. I took an Instax mini Polaroid camera with me and it was perfect!
    • In the past I’ve been guilty of taking loads of photos and storing them on my computer for years. What a waste! I recently placed an order through an app run by a Sydney couple called Origrami. It lets you print photos from your Instagram feed and phone photo roll and posts them to your house. Easy! See my review here.
  • Go nuts on Tripadvisor. Loved a place? Really wish you’d been warned there was a school full of screaming children near your hotel? (Yes, this happened in Paris. I can only imagine it was a sports carnival because the cheering went on ALL DAY.) This is a great way to tell everyone about it. Save them from making the same mistakes, or let them on a well-kept secret.
  • Read up on all of the unanswered questions from your trip. What is the winter like in Greece? Are you supposed to flush toilet paper in Rome? You’re going to find out! (Mild but wet and no.)
  • Look into being a tourist in your own state. The travel bug can be soothed with a bit of exploring that won’t damage your credit card any more than it already has been.
  • Think of all the people and things your home has that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. If you’ve got good friends to help you numb the pain with fast food and wine, that’s worth coming home to.
  • And lastly but most importantly, PLAN ANOTHER TRIP. Never stop exploring.

 

What are your tips for getting over post-holiday blues? Let me know in the comments!

IMG_8667

THIS is what I left behind! Spent an incredible day sailing on this off the coast of Paros, in the Greek Islands.

Oh, Paris! There's nothing quite like it.

Oh, Paris! There’s nothing quite like it.

For the love of summer dresses

THE warm weather is definitely here to stay! (Northern hemisphere notwithstanding.)
I love this silky blue patterned dress – it flows and is light-weight which makes it perfect for any day spent out in the sunshine – preferably with a glass of wine in hand.
I picked it up at Forever 21 a few years ago – the cinched waist and collared top are just perfect.

This might prove tricky on very windy days!

This might prove tricky to manage on very windy days!

Shiny accessories are practically a staple for me.

Shiny accessories are practically a staple for me.

Pink lipgloss brings the whole thing together.

Pink lipgloss brings the whole thing together.

Dress: Forever 21.
Shoes: ASOS.
Clutch: borrowed.
Lips: Savvy High Shine Lip Lacquer – paparazzi.