My goals for 2015

I DON’T believe in New Year’s resolutions because I don’t think you need the calendar to flip over to make changes in your life. That said, there’s no harm in choosing things to focus on in the future.
It took me a while to narrow down the list of things I want to do this year but here it is.

2015 New Year's resolutions

It’s going to be a great year!

Take time for myself:
Taking care of myself is the first thing to fall by the wayside as soon as life gets crazy – and with a busy job and a long daily commute (about two and a half hours per day!) this was a struggle for me in 2014.
I found I could always schedule time in for errands, friends and other activities but never put aside enough time to just relax.
Last year taught me that taking time out to rest, get enough sleep and mentally recuperate is incredibly important.
I didn’t realise how tightly wound I was until I went to Europe in June and could actually relax for weeks on end.
Whether I achieve this by going to bed earlier, reading a magazine or having a lazy Sunday morning in bed, I really want to take time out when I can this year – before I burn out.

Get moving:
Exercise is something that I too easily put on the backburner.
Again, with my long commute it’s often quite late by the time I get home but I’ve been lucky enough to house-sit near my work for the past month and having that extra time as well as minding a large dog that needs lots of walking has made all the difference to my exercise schedule.
So for almost four weeks now I’ve walked the dog for between 30 minutes and a hour each day and at the end of last month I started using an incredible yoga app for daily practice as well.
(Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see a post on my progress with this app!)
I feel incredible!! My stress levels have gone down drastically, even during the silly season.
Ideally I’d like to take at least half an hour each day for cardio (even if it’s just a brisk walk) and either 15 minutes or half an hour for yoga, with longer sessions of both on the weekend.
I’ve got a Fitbit Flex and it’s helping me keep track of the steps I do each day. Meeting my goals is extremely satisfying.
While the tough part will be keeping this routine when I start finish house-sitting and start commuting again, I’m going to give it my best shot.

Read more:
I’m a big bookworm but I don’t usually have time to read!
Before bed each night I ususally spend a bit of time reading a book on my iPod Touch but it’s just not the same as flipping physical pages.
This year I want to make more time to pick up a book and escape into another world.

Get in control of my finances:
Saving money is not exactly my strongest area and it’s something I really am going to get on top on this year.
I started by unsubscribing from a lot of store emails – I do not need to know when they have a sale on!
Saving for a house deposit is my main priority and keeping that in mind will hopefully help me keep my spending in check.

Keep up with blogging:
I’m sure most bloggers have the same goal for this year.
I’ve got so many ideas in my little notebook that I can’t wait to get on to but keeping organised and planning ahead will be key.

What are your goals for 2015? Share them in the comments!

My Christmas wish list

CHRISTMAS is almost here so I thought I’d share my wish list with you.

Most of these are things I’ve had bookmarked for ages and I will probably end up buying anyway eventually!

Ice cream sandwich pool bed:
Who doesn’t want to float away the day on a pool toy shaped like dessert? Pick one up here.

More Lime Crime makeup:
I’ve fallen in love with Geradium but I’ve got my eye on some of the Carousel Glosses but too. You can never have too many shades! Check them all out here.

Kikki.K travel diary:
What better way to take notes about all of the beautiful places I go to? See more stationary goodness here.
Also, I’m in love with kikki.K since I picked up my adorable new 2015 diary.

Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 Printer:
This awesome little box links to your phone via bluetooth and lets you print photos from your camera roll onto Fujifilm Instax film. Check it out here.

A Rosita Bonita necklace:
These dreamy, hand-make necklaces are so beautiful! See more here.

A K is for Kani floral headpiece:
I’ve been following Connie’s blog for ages and it’s impressive to see how far she’s come.
Her hand-made floral headpieces are just beautiful! See more here.

I can’t believe the big day is just around the corner!
What is on your Christmas wish list? Share in the comments!

My favourite dolphin skirt

I LOVE any item of clothing that has animals on it, so this skirt is one of my favourites.
I bought it from a rack of clothes outside a tiny store in Singapore’s Chinatown.

I took this look to a friend’s birthday party this weekend.

I paired the bright skirt with a pop of pink in my handbag and my biggest, shiniest necklace.
The necklace was another travel purchase – I picked it up in Florence in a random boutique.
It was just so over-the-top that I knew I had to buy it!
I’m house-sitting at the moment so today I had a canine helper for my photos!
I also put on Lime Crime’s Centrifuschia lipstick — I can’t get enough of this fun colour. Read my review of it here.

Dolphin skirt ootd

I think he approves of my dolphins.

I'm a cat person but I just can't resist that face!

I’m a cat person but I just can’t resist that face!

Do you have a favourite piece of animal-print clothing? I’d love to hear about it!

New year, new 2015 diary

I CAN’T believe it’s almost the end of the year!
Just a quick post tonight – today has been absolutely jam-packed and I’m beat.
On the plus side – almost all of my Christmas/December birthday present shopping is done.
I managed to restrain myself quite well at the shops – I’m trying to remember that everything I buy gets me further away from saving a house deposit.
But I just couldn’t resist this adorable kikki.K diary.

kikki.k 2015 diary

It’s seriously cute.

It’s full of colourful little pictures and has a year’s worth of whole-month calendars at the start and then shows each week to a page.
There are so many things I need to keep track of so this should really help.
It’s also small enough to carry around in my handbag every day.

kikki.k 2015 diary

Who doesn’t want to see pictures of breakfast foods when they write their appointments?!

kikki.k 2015 diary

Or sausage dogs.

kikki.k 2015 diary

Or whales, for that matter.

I also couldn’t resist this ‘full-time fashion blogger’ shirt.
I’d seen pictures of it as a jumper online and spotted it in an Ally store.
Pick it up here.
A girl can dream!

full time fashion blogger tshirt

I HAD to get myself a Christmas gift, after all.

How are you getting organised in the new year?

My Liebster Award nomination

I AM finally getting around to doing this post after Franzi from Live Laugh Love nominated me!
This is about spreading the love to the other new blogs we’ve found and finding a bit more out about each other.

For people who haven’t done this before, here are the rules:
1. Mention the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions that have been sent to you.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers that have less than 200 followers.
4. Create 11 questions for you nominees to answer.

Here are my answers:
1) If you could choose where you want to live. Where would that be?

There are so many lovely places in the world! Venice or Paris would be incredible, just to soak in all of the history and art and culture. But having a holiday home on the Greek islands (probably Santorini) or Tuscany would be ideal! A girl can dream!

2) I’m from Germany and I like to ask people what the think and know about Germany. So what do you know and think about us Germans and our country?
When I think of Germany I think Oktoberfest! Beer and sausages and a really fun time. I know there’s more to this to the country than this, though.

3) Your best concert experience?
I went to Laneway in Perth in 2012 with my lovely friend Candice and we got to see M83 play. Their set included their amazing song Midnight City, the weather was warm and we just danced like crazy! It was an exhilarating, uplifting experience that has always stayed with me.

4) There are so many different TV series on. Which one would you suggest to your best friends?
TRUE DETECTIVE. I seriously can’t get enough of this show. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are an absolutely stellar team of detectives solving a gruesome string of crimes. Not for the faint of heart but incredible, gripping viewing.

5) If you could travel to the past, what year of event would you like to go? Why?
I’d love to go to the Palace of Versailles in the 1700s and attend a fancy party.

6) Guilty pleasure?
Energy drinks. I love them so much but I know they’re terrible for you so I’m always trying to give them up.

7) What do you think has shaped your personality the most growing up?
My family. I’m one of five kids but we’re all really close and our parents (mum in particular) never let us treat each other badly. Being in a house with seven people really helps you learn to share and not take things too personally.

8) Why did you start a blog?
I wanted a creative outlet – a place where I could share my writing and photos and get away from the grind of everyday life!

9) Who’s your favourite blogger?
The sisters behind A Beautiful Mess, Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman are so inspiring. Their blog is always a pleasure to look at and lovely to read.

10) British or American English?
Being Australian my choice is British, or course.

11) Who would you love to meet and why?
David Attenborough! A few years ago I was in the front row for his talk with Ray Martin in Melbourne and it was fantastic. He’s led such an interesting life, has a unique way of seeing the world and he’s one of my all-time heroes.

I had a hard time picking just 11 blogs to nominate because there are just so many amazing up-and-coming bloggers out there (and in my Bloglovin feed!)
All of these choices have beautiful photos and their creators are full of life. I highly recommend giving them a read!

My nominees are:
1. Catherine Luise
2. Jeanne Christine Marie
3. Dose of Patty
4. Jennifer Cooper
5. Katielou
6. Ella Kate
7. Call Me Clare
8. Holly of the Sky
9. HelloEllenor
10. Saturday’s Girl
11. Vogue et Voyage

My questions are as follows:
1. Who is your celebrity style inspiration?
2. Do you prefer hot or cold weather?
3. What is your dream job or ideal field to work in?
4. What is your favourite item in your wardrobe?
5. What products are on your wishlist right now? (Hopefully Santa is listening!)
6. What is your favourite way to exercise?
7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
8. What is your favourite thing to do to relax?
9. If you could invite any three people to dinner, who would it be and why?
10. What is your favourite type of blog post to create? (Eg: outfit posts, reviews, personal experiences)
11. If you were a main character in a movie, who would you want to play you?

Good luck and happy reading!

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.

First things first (I’m the realest)

Beach

WELCOME to Extraordinary Days.

I hate these sort of introductory posts but I’m Brianna, a 20-something journalist and lover of words, cats, food, fashion, photography and travel.

This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

While I’ve started and abandoned blogs in the past, I want to make this work – even just for a creative outlet when life gets crazy.

If you’re a fan of cute animals, you’re in for a treat because I break out my crazy eyes for just about anything adorable with fur or feathers.

Keep an eye our for my travel posts – earlier this year I spent five glorious weeks in Europe and I’ve got hundreds of photos to share (and to cry over when I realise I’m no longer in the Greek islands.)

You’ll also get a look into my ridiculously overflowing wardrobe and I’ll be sharing my best op-shop bargains regularly.

And without further ado, lets get into it!