Koalas and mazes on Phillip Island | photos

LAST weekend I was lucky enough to be in Melbourne for the second time so far this year!
My friends Kelsey and Justin live there and they always show me a good time.
This trip was no exception, with a day trip to beautiful Phillip Island!
The island is best known for its adorable animal inhabitants: penguins, koalas and seals.

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Look at that cute face!

Every evening, thousands of Little Penguins cross the beach to return to their burrows on land after a long day in the sea spent searching for food.
The island is home a colony of more than 32,000 of the tiny creatures!
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to stay until after sunset to watch them come in but I will definitely make sure to do this next time!
We arrived at the island earlier in the day after about a two-hour drive from Melbourne and checked out A Maze ‘N Things – a sort of theme park.
The centre had awesome optical illusions, puzzles, mini golf and yes, as you could probably guess from the name, a giant maze.

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

The man is not the size you think he is.

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Spooooooky!

This only shows a small section of the maze!

This only shows a small section of the maze!

Next stop was the Koala Sanctuary!
I know a lot of nature places say you’ll get ‘up close and personal’ with the animals but this was really true for this spot.
We came across one koala, high up in a tree, growling louder than I would have ever thought possible from such a lazy animal.
At one point we were almost within touching distance of their fluffy, fluffy fur!
They’re just really relaxed animals and I love how much work this centre puts into teaching people about them and preserving their species.


Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

This one was too tired to even climb up into a tree!

All in all it was an incredible day!
I hope I can get back there one day soon and see the penguins cross the beach!
Did you catch my travel diary from my previous trip? Check it out here.

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Three ways to wear leopard print

GET that animal instinct!
I really love leopard print and it’s definitely a staple in my wardrobe. I’m happy to throw it into almost every outfit so I thought I’d throw together a little guide about how to incorporate it.
Three ways to wear animal print |Extraordinary Days

Get that animal instinct!

 
Traditional colours:
Three ways to wear animal print |Extraordinary Days

Simple accessories are key.

This SUPRE dress (yes, you read that right) is one of my favourites.
I love the light fabric, the way it hangs and the touch of faux leather on the shoulders is something a little bit different.
Because of the high neckline it doesn’t need a necklace and (although they’re covered by my hair) I have black stud earrings on.
I threw in some simple heel because the dress does all the talking.
 
Black and white:
Three ways to wear animal print |Extraordinary Days

Perfect for a day of running around!

This is great for a more casual look. Shorts, a coloured tee and a relaxed shirt are all you need.
I got this shirt from an op-shop and rolled up the sleeves – perfect for a picnic or a day in the sun!
Or swap the shorts for a pair of jeans if you need to be a bit warmer.
 
Bright colours:
Three ways to wear animal print |Extraordinary Days

I can’t get enough of this dress!

Now THIS is a statement piece!
This pink leopard-print midi dress is definitely something to wear when you’re feeling bold!
I like the length of this dress because it lengthens my figure and is less showy than it would be if it was shorter.
These big black platform pumps are also to die for!
 
The main rule for leopard print is to focus on one piece and keep everything else simple.
But, that said, rules are made to be broken!
I haven’t ever really tried the clashing prints style but never say never.
 
Do you love leopard print? What’s your favourite way to wear it?

Travel tips | Seven essential items for your hand luggage

TODAY felt like a fitting time to post this as I’m headed to the airport again!
I never expected to be heading back to Melbourne so soon (I was only there last month!) but my lovely friend Catherine had flights she bought in a sale last year but wasn’t able to get the time off work. So I’m going in her place! (Talk about blessed?!)
I’ve been lucky enough to have done a lot of travelling over the last few years so I’ve gotten pretty used to packing and knowing what I’ll need on a flight.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, let’s get into the list:

Travel tips | Seven essential items for your carry-on luggage | Extraordinary Days

All packed and ready to go!

Your electronic devices:
This one is kind of a given but you’d be surprised at the amount of time I’ve heard people say their phone/iPad/music player is almost out of battery just before they board.
Not every plane is equipped with those fancy TV screens in the back if the seat so you’re in for a boring flight if that’s what you were relying on to keep you entertained!
Also, it has to be said: don’t forget your headphones! Unless you want to shell out for a crappy pair at the airport, that is.

A good book or some magazines (or both!):
Perfect for when you’re trying to conserve the battery in your devices if you’ve got a long haul ahead of you or when you just can’t look at a screen any more.
Magazines are easy to digest between naps or in-flight meals and an interesting book can help you while away the hours.

Travel tips | Seven essential items for your carry-on luggage | Extraordinary Days

A good book or a magazine can make any flight go faster.

Something to hold all of your important documents in:
Itineraries, boarding passes, hotel bookings, passports – all of these are way too important to have float around at the bottom of your handbag.
I like keeping everything important in one place and this Typo documents folder that my lovely friend Amy gave me before my Europe trip last year fits the bill perfectly.
There are slots for everything and the whole thing zips up so nothing will fall out.

Travel tips | Seven essential items for your carry-on luggage | Extraordinary Days

A documents folder will help you stay organised.

A notebook:
Need some quiet time to get your ideas in order? A flight is the perfect place to do it.
You won’t be distracted by the internet (if your flight doesn’t have it) and as long as you can drown out the child crying three seats ahead with some music, you’re in for some quality thinking time.
This can even be as simple of a list of the things you want/need to get done on your trip, or in my case, more blog post ideas. (I never stop planning!)
Make sure you’ve got more than one pen, though.

Extra interesting things to do:
People may give you funny looks, but a colouring in book is an amazing way to while away the hours!
I like taking a crossword book too but I can neither confirm nor deny that I look at the answers to finish off the last few tricky spots.
Snacks can also help while away the hours. You’re probably going to be looking at the clock a lot less if your stomach isn’t rumbling.

Any camera film:
It’s recommended that you always take film in your hand luggage because the strong x-ray machines at the airport that scan your luggage can damage it.
I’ve read that many professional photographers don’t even let their carry-on luggage go through the scanners at security checkpoints, but instead request for their bags to be checked by hand.
This is probably not something you have to worry about if you’re not carrying a lot of expensive film, though.
My Instax Mini and the film for it are the first things I put into my hand luggage so I don’t forget!

Any toiletries or medicine you can’t go without:
My golden rule for travelling is not to put anything in your luggage that you can’t live without.
(My boyfriend found this out the hard way when we landed in Venice last year! It took two days for them to deliver his bag.)
I wear contact lenses so I always carry a small bottle of fluid and a case so I can take them out if my eyes get tired.
An eye mask is always handy if you know you’re going to want to sleep.
Hand cream, a lip balm, Panadol, motion sickness tablets, ear plugs and sleeping tablets are all in my hand luggage too.
And please, for the love of god, bring some tissues and don’t keep sniffing! It will make me want to murder you. I will embarrass you by handing you a tissue and asking you to stop.

I have just double checked my own hand luggage for all of these things, so it’s time to finish off my packing and head to the airport!
What are your essential items that you can’t fly without? Let me know in the comments!

 

Getting flexible with a yoga app

YOGA is incredible! Unfortunately, going to classes doesn’t always fit into your schedule or budget.
That’s where the Yoga Studio App comes in.
I discovered this app a few months ago when I was looking for a way to get more active and because I wanted a way to stretch, relax and strengthen my muscles.

Yoga has never been more accessible! Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

This app is seriously awesome!

I have trouble with a lot of tense and weak spots – my neck, shoulders and back are usually tight from my desk job and long commute and my weak glutes (yes, my physio told me I have a weak butt) have caused me a fair amount of knee pain.
I’ve been to a proper yoga class before and it was one of the most intense experiences of my life – my arms and legs have never shaken so much!
But, not wanting to spend much money or buy anything special, I downloaded the Yoga Studio app for about $4, picked a class and got started.
Using the app at home meant I could start slow and, if I’m honest, do a class in my pajamas.

Yoga has never been more accessible! Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

You can choose from a range of beginner, intermediate and advanced classes.

The classes are easy to follow, have relaxing background music and a calming instructor’s voice and the video shows you every move and the beginner’s classes weren’t too overwhelming.
You can choose between beginner, intermediate and advanced classes and whether you want to focus on flexibility, strength or a combination of the two.

Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

The ‘boat’ pose really works out your core muscles!

After only a couple of classes I remembered all of the poses and felt like I was moving through them more fluidly.
The thing I love most about this app is the different class lengths: 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes.
When I’m short on time, 15 minutes is easy to squeeze in and I like having the option of the hour-long class when I want a more intense workout.

Yoga has never been more accessible! Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

The app shows you every move, making it really easy to follow.

I invested in a yoga mat after a few weeks but before that I was practicing on a fluffy rug and felt that was sufficient.
The mat does help with trying to get the positioning of my feet right, though.
The app lets you study each of the poses before or after a class and you can create your own classes too.
I really like that you don’t have to use the internet after you download a class – it’s yours to play as many times as you like without running up a huge bill.

Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

Warrior is my favourite pose!

I tried to think of some downsides for this app, I really did. But I honestly couldn’t think of anything I wanted to change about it!
I’m still on the beginner’s classes but I really want to step it up over the next couple of months.
It was also really calming and it helped me wind down at the end of the day.
If you want to try yoga or want to get away from structured classes, this is the app to do it with!
Check out Yoga Studio here and happy stretching!

A trip to Lake Clifton | photos

A WHILE ago I took a drive out to Lake Clifton to see the thrombolites.
These ‘living rocks’ only exist in a few places and can be thousands of years old.

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

The thrombolites are made up of calcium carbonate structure and a thin film of bacteria on the top and they’re extremely delicate, as well as rare and critically endangered.

Luckily, there are lots of signs to tell visitors just how much damage can be done if they touch the thrombolites.

When I visited a few months ago, the water levels in the lake were still too high and the thrombolites were submerged, but I was lucky enough to be able to see them through the relatively clear water.

I’ve read that late summer and autumn are the best times to visit because the water is low enough that the thrombolites stick out of the water so I’ll have to make another visit soon.

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

It was an incredible afternoon!
I only had a short amount of time before it got too dark but the sunset, alth0ugh it was cloudy, was beautiful.
I’m really enjoying exploring in my own state more, just like when I went to Fremantle a few weeks ago.
Keep an eye out for more of my local adventures  in the future!

My sister’s wardrobe | navy on navy

I’M SO excited to introduce this new feature!

I love creating outfit posts but I missed being behind the camera… So I called on the most stylish person I know – my sister Lois.

My Sister's Wardrobe part one - navy hat, dress and gold lettering necklace | Extraordinary Days

I’m so excited about this feature!

The premise is simple: double the wardrobes means double the amount of awesome outfits I can feature!

I love her seemingly effortless sense of style and how she puts a look together, coordinating from head to toe.

My Sister's Wardrobe part one - navy hat, dress, white Michael Kors handbag and gold lettering necklace | Extraordinary Days

Talk about a million-dollar smile!

Lois described this outfit as something she’d wear for an outdoors lunch in warmer weather or a low-key event.

“I’ve previously worn this outfit to a 30th birthday event at a cider house,” she said.

“It’s good if you know you’re going to spend a long time outdoors or for sitting on the grass under a marquee.”

My Sister's Wardrobe part one - navy hat, dress and gold lettering necklace | Extraordinary Days

I love the matching gold necklace and hat band.

She said the dress was a frequent go-to item in her wardrobe because of the potential to dress it up or down.

“I’ve worn this dress just to the shops before with a pair of flats or sandals – it’s really versatile,” she said.

“Wearing it with this felt hat makes me feel like a lady. It’s not a hat I would wear on a really warm day though because it is quite thick.”

She paired it with a bright pink pair of floral pumps and a white and gold Michael Kors tote.

My Sister's Wardrobe part one - pink floral pumps with cork | Extraordinary Days

These pumps are bright and fun.

My Sister's Wardrobe part one - navy dress and white Michael Kors handbag| Extraordinary Days

This Michael Kors handbag is just immaculate.

My Sister's Wardrobe part one - navy hat, dress, white Michael Kors handbag and gold lettering necklace | Extraordinary Days

This pink NYX lipstick gives a pop of colour.

Dress: ASOS | Bag: Michael Kors | Hat: Target | Shoes: ASOS | Necklace: Lovisa | Rings/midi rings: Topshop | Lipstick: NYX Cosmetics in Louisiana

I hope you enjoyed part one of this new feature!

 

I love navy as an alternative to black — do you feel the same? Let me know in the comments!

Why you should take a lunch break today

Taking a lunch break is far more important than you think | Extraordinary Days

It’s time to make a change! (Picture: supplied)

SOME things you’ve got to learn from experience.

A year ago I would never have thought something as small as taking a break every day at work could actually make a difference to my mood and mental health.

I would eat at my desk every day, never stopping to enjoy what I was having and never switching out of work mode.

I was always trying to fit more into my work hours and if I, god forbid, did stop for a rest I was always filled with guilt that I wasn’t making the most of absolutely every minute of my day.

It’s not until I went on leave recently that I realised just how important it is to actually take a break.

I’ve got a fairly stressful job and I’d pretty much run myself into the ground by the time I went on holidays.

You’re allocated that hour (or half hour) every working day, so why not take it?

It helps break up your day:

Feeling flat? Are the hours dragging by? That lunch break is yours to fill with whatever you like and at the end, you’re an hour closer to home time!

Okay, sometimes you end up more sleepy than when you started but getting some fresh air can help with that, even if it’s just a stroll around the block or stretching your legs for a few minutes.

It can give you a bit of peace:

Getting off the computer (or at least closing your work tabs) gives your brain a chance to have a break and, nine times out of ten, you’ll feel refreshed afterwards.

This is especially useful when you’ve got to tackle an important task or something that needs a fresh set of eyes.

I love taking a bit of time to catch up on my Twitter feed or see what other awesome creators are posting on Bloglovin! Bringing in a book to read or watching an episode of a TV series is also a great option.

It gives you a chance to get things done:

Have you been waiting all week to send an important email or buy event tickets? This is your chance.

I work over an hour away from home so my evenings are pretty limited but having a break during the day gives me a chance to feel like I’m not working 24/7.

Taking the time to tick one important thing off your list is incredibly satisfying.

It can help lower you stress levels:

If your poor brain is constantly working overtime, it’s not going to be functioning at its best.

Stress and anxiety build up over time and can cloud your thinking processes. At the very least, you feel like crap.

Making a habit out of taking a while each day to focus on doing something that makes you happy is a great step to take towards improving your mental health.

To be fair, there are some days where taking a chunk of time away from work in the middle of the day isn’t possible, but making the effort most days can be incredible.

Take some time out – you deserve it!

 

Do you take a lunch break? Or do you wish you did?