why solo dining is the best thing ever //

image via pinterest
hello huns!

I’m sitting in a restaurant, it’s friday night (some would say date night) and I’m dining alone over a glass of bubbles & l.o.v.i.n.g. life. 

ive written before about the importance of time alone, but to be honest, this is much better, and I hope I can articulate why.

i can’t really remember how long I’ve been doing this, but I’d say date night alone is definitely a weekly event for me. at first, you feel self-conscious & cant get off your phone for fear of looking like a loser…then next minute, your ordering for four, over a bottle of wine & having the time of life on your lonesome.

how does that happen? & why would you wanna do that?! well my Huns, it’s liberating AF. it truly is.

we don’t realise how much we rely on the body next to us for validation & to feel comfortable in public. and those times with girlfriends & boyfriends & family etc are amazing and important too of course. but as important as it is to nurture & development your relationships with others, the most important relationship is always with yourself. you know this, don’t you babe?

and dining alone, phone down, is a beautiful way to spend time with yourself. it’s awkward & uncomfortable, but you get to make all the food choices, choose the restaurant, have three glasses of wine if you want to, order two desserts and get the best seat at the table (you know, the booth that faces errryone).

yes people look, but who the hell cares?! wasting anything more than a second on what other people think is a waste of your valuable time on earth. it’s not worth it, it’s not relevant, and at the end of your days you are not going to think about how great it was that you spent your whole life worrying about what others thought of you.

you’re going to think about how much you pushed yourself, beyond your comfort zones, to do the things that mattered to YOU. that you allowed yourself to be you, and how, in turn, you gave others permission to do the same. how you did what you wanted, regardless of whether you had anyone alongside of you approving of that. because that’s what this life is about – enjoying time out on your own & never allowing “date night” to ruin your plans of solitude over a fine meal & bottle of red.

let me leave you with this beautiful quote:

“Be alone. Eat alone, take yourself on dates, sleep alone. In the midst of this you will learn about yourself. You will grow, you will figure out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams, your own beliefs, your own stunning clarity, and when you do meet the person who makes your cells dance, you will be sure of it, because you are sure of yourself.” bianca sparacino

bon appétit!

xxx

p.s. I’ll do a post soon on my fave restaurant / cafe recommendations that are the perfect spots for dining solo in sydney…keep an eye out!

packing tips for travelling light //

hello darlings! well isn’t this luggage a bit extra, hey?! this used to be ME when I travelled – couldn’t go anywhere without a full suitcase (or two) full of every outfit combination I could come up with. I had fantasies that I would wear clothes I never wore at home..& then of course I’d return from my trip, with more than half of my luggage untouched & left feeling rejected (poor things!).

but now I like to think I have mastered the art of travelling light & pack only the essentials for my trips 💁🏻 it makes my travels so much more enjoyable; no more breaking my back lugging my suitcases in & out of airports, up & down metro stairs, rolling over cobblestones (europe, anyone?) and makes getting ready each day a total breeze because I’m not schlepping through every item I’ve owned since the 90’s to find something to wear.

so! that being said, let me share my top tips for being a total minimalist when packing for an overseas trip (or even just a weekender!) while still having EVERYTHING you need:

1. Use a packing list – there are so many great packing lists online. to find one perfect for your destination, check out these ones here on herpackinglist.com

2. It’s true what they say – we wear 20% of our wardrobe, 80% of the time. REMEMBER this rule when packing. Identify the 20% you wear on rotation, and pack those items. You know they are winning combos for you, AND that you will wear them.

3. Choose a colour theme for your clothes so they all mix & match together. Pinterest have so many amazing capsule wardrobes sorted by colour schemes, that show case how to mix 12 items into 20+ outfit combinations. I’ve done a gorgeous budget travel wardrobe capsule here that has over 30+ outfits combos, and all pieces are under $100. If you stick to a colour theme, you’ll get so many more outfits while keeping your luggage light. My favourite colour palette for summer is white, blush, light grey, floral prints & denim. For winter, I mix black, grey, stripes & denim with some glam necklaces/accessories.

4. Use makeup & skincare samples – you know all those beauty samples you get throughout the year? well store those babies up & take them with you instead of packing large bottles & jars. you’ll get to try out new products on the go & they’re so itty bitty you’ll hardly notice them in your bag! If you’re going on a longer trip, I’d still recommend taking samples & then purchasing new skincare/beauty products while you’re away. you’ll get to come home with travel ‘souvenirs’ that are saaaa much better than a magnet for the fridge or a cowboy hat you’ll never wear again.

5. Only half-fill your suitcase – you’ll never regret this one! Your suitcase will be lighter to carry, it forces you to cull when packing & then you have plenty of space for SHOPPING – without getting slapped with all those overweight luggage fees. ugh. the worst way to end a holiday.

6. remember you can wash as you go – not exactly a packing tip, but don’t forget you can always wash while you’re away. all you need is a sink & a little laundry detergent. so you won’t need a new outfit for every day (chances are no one knows you at your holiday destination so it’s no crime to recycle outfits!) just wash once a week & you’re good to go!

7. Lastly, get some packing cubes! these bad boys are life. they save me every time I travel & now I wouldn’t even do a wkend away without them…they keeps your clothes organised – i use the small ones for my knickers, bras & bikinis, the medium size for all my tops and the largest one for skirts, shorts, jeans & dresses. it saves so much time getting dressed because you know exactly where everything is, and if you’re travelling from one city to another & constantly packing/unpacking, then you will love how easy these packing cubes make it every. single. time.

hope these tips help you Huns…enjoy your travels my darlings!
xxx

how to make the most of time alone


i absolutely love being on my own. 

don’t get me wrong; i adore being out with my girls & hanging with the bf, but nothing & no one reenergises me like time alone does. i plan as much “me” time in to each week as possible – at least 2 or 3 weeknights & generally one full day on the weekend. sounds like a lot, maybe it is. but I know when I look after myself & consciously take time out, it allows me to be really present & fully enjoy social experiences & time around others without feeling drained & exhausted.

some people get this about me, & some don’t, & that’s ok. there’s so few people that i meet that not only enjoy alone time but plan for it like i do. in fact, when I mention my love for being alone, most of the time I get raised eyebrows, confused looks & different variations of ‘ooooooookkkkkkkaaayy’ (in a not so ‘okay’ tone).

but you see time moves slower when you’re alone, & even just 15 mins in solitude, away from distraction, can be a super productive time for you. when you’re next alone, waiting for a friend who’s (always) running late, or on your morning commute to work, don’t turn to facebook to find a distraction but utilise the time to recharge, be productive, do something you know you should do but never get around to. I guarantee you’ll start to love this time & even look forward to it!

below are some ways to really make the most out of solitude:

  • plan your day – think about the day ahead of you & get a head start on organising yourself for it
  • be present – look around you, take in your surroundings, notice faces/colours/landscapes/architectures/thinnnnngggs
  • focus on your breathing – take slow, deep breaths & watch how calm you feel afterwards
  • stretch out – maybe not on the bus to work, but when you have 5 mins, why not fit in a mini stretch sesh?
  • meal plan – search for new, easy recipes that you can try, so you don’t have to eat pasta & mee goreng noodles 5 nights a week
  • food prep – my fave. if time permits, try making one of those dishes in advance. whenever I know I have a pocket of time, I’ll whip up guacamole & slice up some carrots to pop in the fridge for work. if I have longer, i make banana bread or, old faithful, homemade chicken stock.
  • plan a break – you know all those places that have been on your bucketlist for like, foreverrrr? well book it in. look online for plenty of inspiration, make a plan on when & how, and go for it
  • declutter – I love this one. time alone is refreshing for the soul, but it can be just as good a time to refresh your surroundings too! grab a giant IKEA bag & fill that bad boy up with everything you no longer need & donate it to charity
  • read a book – I know. how original. but seriously, most people are more familiar with Snapchat than a good old paperback, so I had to include this one on the list
  • watch a ted talk – these are life changing 15-30 min segments. ted talks are intense, informative sessions by experts, educators, talented communicators, innovators (sorry, I’m rhyming) in their fields who can teach you more than anyone else could in that same time frame. trust me, just watch.
  • put on a face mask & take a bath – coz you deserve it babe!
  • finally, be grateful. consciously recognise the blessings in your day/week & be grateful for them. 

please let me know how you make the most of time alone!

lots of love xxx

that morning hussssh.

it’s no secret I like a bit of peace & quiet in the A.M.

But I’ve never been a morning person..as in, my brain never used to even function before noon (& two lattes), and some days it feels like I really only started to perk up at 11pm at night, you know, right around that time that normal people are heading to bed?

I wish I could say how much I’ve changed..how I’ve found the secret to becoming an “ohhh I’m always up at 5am” type of person & that I bounce out of bed each day like my jam just came on at the bar. But alas, that is definitely not the case.

I can however say that I am usually standing with both feet on the ground by 6.30am every single weekday – even if the only reason is because my partner has literally pulled me out by the legs (not kidding) & is physically holding me up in order to stand.

but I have grown to love the 2 hours of “me” time I get every morning before work. It has become divine & sacred & necessary to me, & gives me that drive to get my ass out of bed each day. it’s my time to spend with you; writing & lettering & pouring what I have onto my screen in hope you might see it on yours.

it does my soul a world of good to have morning stillness. solitude & shusssh.

enjoy your ‘hush’ time, whether it be at the crack of dawn or the quiet of the night

xxx

the weekend that was…& happy easter!

@wild.grace.and.gold

is it just me, or is anyone else suffering from the easter long wkend come down? you know, that feeling you get after spending the last four days drowning yourself in haigh’s chocolate bunnies, darrell lea rocky road, sparkling rosé & buttery hot cross buns? right as you were juuust getting used to the idea of a four day wkend, and then wham! back to reality.

but hey, at least it’s a gentle come down into a four day week, right?! I’ll cheers to that. I’d almost have another easter egg to that if I wasn’t so disgusted by the thought of having one more egg before easter next year.

no regrets though…the easter weekend was certainly indulgent, and I’m not just talking about the food (although the food was devine…anyone see the chia pudding pic above that my mother made?!).

it was a weekend full of time well spent – time alone, time with a girlfriend, church time, knitting time, time with the bf, blog time, & time with family. what more could you want?!

to me, as much as I love each & all of those times, in all honesty, my favourite is time alone. I’ve spent plenty of years feeling bad about how introverted I am – how much I need my space, how difficult I find it to be around others consistently for long periods of time, how much I prefer one on one time over dinner party time. and I’ve really struggled coming to terms with that part of me.

I’m one of three siblings and both my brother & sister are wildly extroverted. as is my father. it can do crazy things to your self confidence when you wish you were one way, but stuck being another.

at times of course it still gets to me…when I brought home my partner for the first time, i worried about whether he noticed the contrast between me and my other family members. it played on my mind that he might wish I was more like them too.

but of course, that’s ridiculous, he thinks I’m perfect!

not really…but he totally accepts me for who I am and I’m slowly coming to peace with how I am too. I have no problems dining alone, seeing a movie on my own or backpacking across europe as a solo traveller either – in fact I love it – and they are things I am very proud of. not everyone can say they enjoy that, or could even do that!

and the point of all that is to say..I did have an indulgent weekend, I revelled in that alone time & i’m grateful to God for that..among many other things the Easter weekend represents. I hope you too had an equally as wonderful long, long weekend. I hope you treated yourself, looked after yourself, and most of all spent the time doing something that made your soul happy.

happy easter again!

xxx

welcome honey!

welcome to my little corner of cyberspace. i’m thrilled that you’re here.

i’m just learning all this, most days I’ve not a clue what i’m doing, but like the quote above i’m not going to let that stop me. please bear with me as these pages slowly fill up. my hope is that you will soon love being here & find beauty each time you drop by.

explore. enjoy. & check out my instagram for more inspiring prints & pictures when you can.

lots of love to you darling – have the best day!

xxx