A wonderful trip to Melbourne | photos

I’VE just got back from a few amazing days in Melbourne!
One of my lovely friends Kelsey moved there a few years ago and since her wedding is fast approaching and I’m one of the bridesmaids, I headed over with our friend Lisha to help her begin looking for wedding dresses.
It was a jam-packed few days but I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Today I wanted to share some of my photos with you and take a look back at this trip.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Oh Melbourne!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

This is a good way to fly. An incredible magazine, too.

Plane views over the clouds | Extraordinary Days

I love getting the window seat.

Holographic handbag and black floral dress | Extraordinary Days

I love holographic bags.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

It’s not Melbourne without a funky cocktail bar – this was at Cabinet in the CBD.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

A sequin skirt and sandals for a busy day of shopping!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

I love dessert!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Arthur’s Seat views. Breathtaking!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

The beautiful restaurant at Arthur’s seat.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

I was asked if I was a make up artist when I bought all of this! Needless to say I was VERY flattered.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Out for breakfast!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

I love a big breakfast.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

The Tea Salon in Emporium. This place is just adorable!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Cakes at The Tea Salon.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Luxurious ice tea from The Tea Salon.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Beautiful!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

I love these ladies!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

MY FAVOURITE PLACE.

Melbourne holiday - black sneaker heels | Extraordinary Days

I wore these new babies on the plane and felt pretty cool.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

I kept busy on the flight home with A Beautiful Mess’ blogging course and Firefly.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Sort of caught the sunset.

I had such a good time! The wedding dress shopping was successful and we got our bridesmaid’s dresses sorted.
We also took a trip out to the Peninsula Hot Springs – this was an absolutely incredible experience and deserves a post of its own – so stay tuned for that.
If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen I bought an incredible handbag while I was away… but this also deserves a post all to itself! It’ll be up as a bonus post this week.
And best of all I got to spend lots of quality time with two of my favourite friends, who always know how to have a good time.
Every time I visit this city I just want to pack my bags and move over there. Maybe I will, one day.

Have you ever been to Melbourne? What did you think?

 

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Ten things to make your trip to Paris unforgettable

I’VE been thinking a lot about Paris lately so I wanted to share some of the amazing things to do there, some photos and some tips!
It doesn’t matter if you’re only staying a few days or a few weeks – this list will help you check off the best things to do in this city.
In no particular order, here are my top things to do in the city of love.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

Paris.

Get lost in the Louvre:
Although this is on most people’s list for Paris but it is possible to get away from the crowds in this massive complex.
When my boyfriend and I visited last June we ended up finding a beautiful quiet wing, which was infinitely better than pushing and shoving our way to see the Mona Lisa with the rest of the world.
This was mostly because we wandered in the wrong direction but it made for a perfect afternoon.
Make sure to book your tickets in advance though, especially during the height of the tourist season or you’ll be in for a long wait in the sun.

The Louvre | Extraordinary Days

Beautiful.

The Lourve | Extraordinary Days

The Louvre.

Walk as much as you can:
One of the best ways to see a city is to walk through it and Paris is no different.
Make sure to take a stroll along the Seine and look at the tiny book stalls that line the banks.
There’s something magical about walking along the river in the heart of Paris, especially in the evening.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

So many little streets to explore!

Pick a random place to eat:
I’ll say this for most of Europe – rather than agonising about where to eat, just pick the first decent place you see.
In my experience (especially in Paris), the food will be great and it’s more of an adventure.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

A beautiful place to be at night, too.

Go on a river cruise:
One of the best ways to see this beautiful city is from the water.
Many hour-long cruises leave from the port opposite the Eiffel Tower (don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the city’s biggest attraction!) and have audio guides available in a range of languages.
This is a great way to learn more about the city’s rich history, it’s many bridges and some of its most important buildings and areas.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

The Seine!

Walk along the Champs Élysées:
This beautiful tree-lined streets gets about 50,000 visitors every day and it’s easy to see why.
All of the world’s biggest fashion brands have a spot there and there are plenty of more minor stores too.
With the Place de la Concorde at one end, you can great a great view of the Arc de Triomphe as you walk along this world-famous avenue.

Champs-Élysées Paris | Extraordinary Days

The Champs-Élysées is a busy street!

Climb the steps at Sacré-Cœur:
This one is not for the faint of heart!
Situated in Montmartre at the city’s highest point, this basilica makes for an amazing panoramic view across the whole of Paris.
Climbing the 270 steps up to it is not for everyone, so there is a funicular car for those who don’t feel up to the challenge.
Once at the top the interior of the basilica is open to the public, include the dome at the very top. (I’ve never been inside but it’s on my list!)

Sacré-Cœur, Paris | Extraordinary Days

Sacré-Cœur.

Go to Shakespeare and Company bookstore:
This tiny bookstore is almost hidden in a small street near the Notre Dame cathedral but it’s well worth seeking out.
Booklovers need to go here!
The shelves are packed full of a wide range of books and upstairs there is a reading area, perfect to while away some time in.
On the day I went with Michael there was a man playing something beautiful on a piano as a breeze came in through the open window – I actually thought I was in heaven.
If you’re buying a book don’t forget to ask for the attendant to stamp it with the Shakespeare and Company stamp before you leave.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

Book lover heaven!

Go to the Pont des Arts (love lock bridge):
It’s a well-known tradition for people to visit this famous bridge, attach a lock and throw their key into the river (ensuring good luck and that their love will last).
However, in recent years the Parisian government has tried to make people aware that this tradition is also slowly destroying the bridge, as it cannot cope with the weight of thousands upon thousands of metal padlocks.
Just before I visited last June a section of the fencing along the bridge collapsed and fell into the river below because of the weight.
While that did mean there was a nice empty panel for Michael and I to put a lock on to when we arrived, I would think twice about this if I visited again because at the end of the day, I don’t want the city to take stronger measures to protect part of its history and take all of the locks away because the bridge is on the verge of collapse.
(As it was, when Mike and I were leaving the area we saw council workers with a ute tray FULL of locks pull up, ready to cut away bicycle chains full of locks that had been fastened to the bridge.)

Paris | Extraordinary Days

This section was quickly filled!

Take a day trip to the Palace of Versailles:
This is for those on a longer stay in this city and it was well worth a visit.
While our tour tickets cost about $100 Australian each, we got to travel from Paris in an airconditioned coach and have a guided tour throughout the palace and grounds.
A guided tour is something I’d definitely recommend as the guides know exactly what to point out in each room and the most important and entertaining information to give you.
I can only imagine what it would have been like in its prime!
As it was peak tourist season it was packed with people so anyone who is claustrophobic may want to give this a miss, or come at a quieter time of year.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

Gates at Versailles

And last but not least, visit the Eiffel Tower.
This was a given and I’d be surprised to see a list of things to do in Paris that didn’t feature it.
This monument is truly worth a visit and if you don’t want to wait in line to climb up into it, spending time around the base is just as lovely.

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Take me back!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this list — I enjoyed writing it!
I can’t wait to book another trip back to this amazing city one day.

Do you have any things on your Parisian bucket list? Or something I haven’t mentioned here? Let me know in the comments!

Fujifilm Instax Mini camera review

THESE adorable instant cameras are making a comeback!
I have the Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S which is the slightly older version to what’s on the market now.

Fujifilm Instax Mini review | Extraordinary Days

Some of my favourite shots!

The best part about these camera is being able to print out your photos straight away and they’re yours forever! You don’t have to worry about leaving them on a USB forever and forgetting to print them.
As I mentioned in my post about beating post-holiday blues, having an instant camera in addition my my iPhone was absolutely invaluable — I was able to capture so many beautiful places in the cute little white frames.
The photos have a soft, vintage feel to them which I love.

Fujifilm Instax Mini review | Extraordinary Days

My Europe trip was incredible!

The only major downside is the film can be expensive.
It comes in packs of 10 sheets, usually for about $1.50-$2 per frame but you can get them for about $1 per frame if you buy in bulk from places like eBay.
There are four settings, indoor/dark, cloudy/shady, fine and clear for different light situations.
There’s also a window at the back that shows you how many shots you have left.

Fujifilm Instax Mini review

Mine’s a bit beat up after taking it with me on my travels.

Tips to get the most out of your Instax Mini:
– Think about the light source. Too much light will leave black spots on the film so if you want to capture something like a sunset, point the lens slightly away from the sun or get the sun just out of the shot. Too little light (like a time I took photos a the beach after the sun went down) can make the film underdeveloped and dark. Don’t overestimate how much light there is – even in you think there’s enough it’s usually a good idea to turn the camera onto a lower setting so you don’t end up with a dark photo.

– Remember the lens is not directly above the viewfinder. Look slightly to the left of your subject when taking a photo to get it the centre.

Fujifilm Instax Mini review | Extraordinary Days

Remember the lens is slightly to the left of the viewfinder.

– Don’t get too close to your subject. This is the thing I struggle with the most! With my iPhone and DSLR I’m used to not having to worry about how close I stand but with the Instax, the flash will wash out your photo if you’re too close. This is especially true for indoors, where you’ll end up with an out of focus, mostly white photos if you’re too close.

– Take care of your film. Store it in a cool place in hot weather and don’t leave it in the car — heat damage can make the film white and washed out. In Perth our winters are pretty mild but I’ve read cold damage can make the film turn black and make it not develop properly.

– Don’t put it in your luggage when travelling – the heavy-duty X-rays can ruin it.
Always take your Instax and extra film in your hand luggage. The X-ray machines within the airport are not as strong. I took my film on eight flights in five weeks in my hand luggage on my Europe trip and it was fine.

Fujifilm Instax Mini review

So many adventures to be had!

– And most of all, have fun! Don’t worry about taking a “bad” photo or wasting a frame – some of my favourite photos were from spur-of-the-moment shots.
Pick up your own Instax Mini here.

Do you have or want an Instax Mini camera? What do you think of it?

Bali is beautiful | photos

LAST weekend I took a whirlwind trip to Bali with my family to celebrate mum’s 60th birthday.
I could only stay for three days but it was good to be back, even just for a short while.
These shots were taken around the grounds of the amazing hotel we stayed at – the Patra Jasa in Tuban, near Kuta and the airport.
It had stormed the night before so everything was wet but the weather was still extremely hot and humid.

Bali Indonesia palm trees
Bali 2
Bali 3
Bali Indonesia beach
Bali Indonesia
Bali 4
Bali 6
Bali 9
DSC_3673
If you’ve never been, I hope these photos inspire you to make the trip! (Or someone equally as tropical.)
I want to organise another trip to go back already!

PS: Did you catch the post with my outfit for the plane? See it here.

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?