All black, everything | OOTD

SOMETIMES you just can’t got past wearing all black!

All black OOTD with Greek spiral symbol and ankle boots | Extraordinary Days blog

I love the pop of blue and green these earrings give.

It’s been a staple for me for the past few years but I like to mix in different textures to make things interesting and to prevent my outfit from sending out waitress vibes.

I’ve owned this faux leather vest for at least three years but I’ve only worn it a handful of times — what a waste!

I liked mixing it with this skirt because the soft, feminine vibes even out the toughness of the vest.

All black OOTD with Greek spiral symbol and ankle boots | Extraordinary Days blog

I love a comfortable pair of boots.

I picked out the skirt from an overflowing sales rack in Ally (I love this store! I previously picked up another of my favourite t-shirts from there too) and I couldn’t go past it.

I saw this symbol a lot during my travels in Greece last year and since I found the skirt almost one year to the day that I left, I decided to take it as a good sign.

The symbol means good luck and the continuation of life and things moving forward. I liked it so much I got it tattooed on my ankle too.

The boots are from Rubi shoes are are a fine replacement for my old, battered pair that probably wouldn’t have lasted another winter.

All black OOTD with Greek spiral symbol and ankle boots | Extraordinary Days blog

Why, hello there!

All black OOTD with Greek spiral symbol and ankle boots | Extraordinary Days blog

I love when my jewellery matches my outfit!

Do you love rocking an all-black outfit? What are your go-to pieces?

Silver skirts aren’t just for discos

THIS skirt is too cool to wear only in the evening!
I picked up this metallic number from H&M when I was travelling last year but I didn’t want to restrict myself to only bringing it out for parties or nights on the town.
I toned it down for daytime wear with this light and relaxed navy blue button down shirt. Having a semi-casual top really calms down the bright silver.

Silver metallic skirt and navy blue shirt

This skirt is just so fun.

I first wore this outfit out and about in Athens in the scorching heat!
(Oh how I wish I could get on a plane and go back.)
I paired this outfit with some of my regular jewellery pieces, most of which were also picked up along my travels.

Silver jewellery

These are some of my favourite pieces of jewellery.

The silver disc is a replica of the Phaistos Disc, an ancient Greek relic that is surrounded by mystery to this day. (Intriguing!)
I spotted the hand with all-seeing eye bracelet in a gift shop near the black sand beach in Santorini and the square spiral ring in a jewellery store in Fira town, also on Santorini. (As you may have seen in previous outfit posts, I loved this symbol and the notions behind it – good luck and life moving forward – so much that I got it tattooed on my ankle!

Have you seen the other outfit I picked up while I was in Europe?

Would you wear this skirt during the day? Or do you think something so bright should only come out at night?

Red lipstick and a long black lace dress

IT’S party time!
I wore this little black lace number to the engagement party of two lovely friends of mine recently. (It was a big week – we also attended a wedding too!)

Black lace dress and Samantha Wills rose gold necklace | Extraordinary Days

I love this bright red lipstick against the black.

I found this dress is a little boutique on a cobblestone street in Florence, Italy, when I was there last year, but you can see similar styles here, here and here!
I wasn’t looking for anything in particular but it caught my eye!
I am so in love with the high-low hem and the shape of the dress.
While I was initially worried I’d end up looking similar to Morticia Adams, the higher hem and the front and the fact it’s sleeveless take away some of the harshness.

Black lace dress and Samantha Wills rose gold necklace | Extraordinary Days

This was a GOOD hair day!

The waistline fits like an absolute dream and the skirt is so fun to swish around!
I took along an adorable owl face handbag from H&M that was a gift from my lovely friend Catherine!

Owl face handbag with Samantha Wills necklace | Extraordinary Days

I love owls!

Owl face handbag | Extraordinary Days

It’s hard to take photos with a kitty who wants attention!

Unfortunately it’s sold out now but there are some other owl bags here and here.
I also wore my Samantha Wills white howlite mineral necklace, as I wanted something with a long but dainty chain to break up all the black.
Did you catch the last time I wore this necklace?
The black stiletto heels were a holiday purchase from a tiny shoe store on Santorini. (Similar style here.)

Black lace dress and Samantha Wills rose gold necklace | Extraordinary Days

This is a very good dress for swishing around in.

And finally, a slick of red lipstick brought the whole outfit together! I wore Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipstick in Cha Cha.

Would you take on a black lace dress? How would you style it? Let me know in the comments!

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?

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!

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?