Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A-dressing a dilemma: What to take on a tropical holiday…

On Thursday I’m heading to Cairns for 5 days for a (hopefully) relaxing and fun-filled getaway. I’ve been warned there is in fact a cyclone approaching north Queensland but I think we’ll be pretty far away from that so I’m going to ignore it and focus my attention on prepping and packing for the trip.

Now I wouldn’t really say that packing for a tropical holiday is a “dilemma” but it is certainly no fun when trying to cram everything into a small carry-on bag so let’s try to keep things simple.

So what to pack?

First up, let’s talk cosmetics.

My holiday beauty essentials include a natural looking tan (I favour St Tropez), a pop of pink or coral lippie, and braids or beachy waves courtesy of my GHD. I am also big on anti-aging and sun protection so my Neutrogena and Cancer Council approved oil-free sunscreens are the first things to go in my bag alongside the boring stuff like deodorant and toothpaste. I generally try to keep my make-up pretty simple when the humidity is high to prevent ‘face-slip’ but you definitely won’t catch me completely bare-faced. BB creams and gel liner are a girl’s best friend. Bright nails are also a must – I’m loving the Gorman and Kit cosmetics nail sticker collaboration.

So your hair and make-up are sorted but what the hell do you pack when your day might consist of hiking through a rainforest, lazing in the sun and drinking cocktails in the nearest backpacker bar? You need options people!

1. Number 1, don’t forget to pack your togs (bathers/swimmers whatever you want to call them) and a kaftan or beach cover-up. These will save you getting your clothes wet when you decide to jump out of the water and pop to the shops for a drink…and they can look quite glam really.


Casual cool – a pair of shorts and a few cute singlets or shirts might be a bit boring but they really are the best thing to wear for most physical activities. Think about it. Do you really want to bungy jump wearing a maxidress?


3. Speaking of maxi-dresses and skirts – if you’ve got one – pack it too! Slip it on to go for dinner or a casual stroll to the night markets before you bring out your real show stopper…

4. The party outfit (or two). I’d be willing to bet that for a lot of people drinking, eating out and late nights are a bit more prevalent when on holidays. So why not have fun with your wardrobe and slip on that dress you’re just a bit too shy to bust out at home. It might be a little shorter or sexier than you normally feel comfortable with but with that tan and your carefree holiday attitude you really can’t go wrong.

Accessories. Normally when I travel I try to keep bags to a minimal relying on a satchel for day and a clutch for going out. When it comes to jewellery I like to stack my bracelets, stick a few extra rings on and wear some of my over-the-top earrings if I think I can get away with it. Don't forget to take a hat and your sunnies and remember Fashion is fun and it’s great to experiment and step out of your comfort zone while on holidays because hey, even if you do end up looking like a crazy lady, odds are that no one at home will ever know!

And on that note I’m off to pack…next time you see me I’ll be back much more relaxed, sporting a real-ish tan and a smile.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A long weekend in Melbourne

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Day 1:
With its street art and laneway bars Melbourne is a city that stole my heart long ago, so I was hugely excited to jump on a plane and head to the coffee capital of Oz for a long weekend with three of my best girlfriends.

With two of us from Brisbane and the other two from Melbourne there was lots of laughter hugs and squeals when we finally touched down at Tullamarine Airport.

The Melbournites quickly whisked away to South Melbourne for our first foodie experience at the eclectic and ever popular St Alis. Here we feasted on amazing salads with prawns, a delicious salmon special, drank specialty coffee and enjoyed a chat with owner and Melbourne Personality Salvatore Malatesta.

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Lunch at St Ali's
Following lunch we headed to the girl’s place at Richmond and bunkered down for some serious gossiping. On Thursday night we attended a rather un-girly event – the ANZAC match between the Warriors and The Melbourne Storm which was actually a whole lotta fun. Buoyed by the Storm’s win we had a few drinks near the stadium and called it a night.
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It's footy time!
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Day 2:
Melbourne is known for its shopping, food and street art and Day 2 in this beloved city saw us experience all three. We dedicated almost the entire day to wandering Bridge Road (where I picked up this little beauty at less than half price for an upcoming wedding) and the infamous Chapel St before catching a train and a tram (Melbourne has a truly fabulous public transport network) to Fitzroy for a spot of delicious lunch at Vegie Bar (you must try the burrito!) and some wonderful exploration of its colourful laneways.
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Fitzroy Laneways
An afternoon cider at Naked in the Sky – the recently opened rooftop bar at Naked for Satan – proved to be the perfect place to enjoy the afternoon sun and a killer view of the city. The vintage pornography covering the walls also made for a bit of cheeky entertainment.
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The view from Naked in the Sky
After some time spent recuperating and resting our tired feet we glammed up and cabbed it to Cookie for dinner. Yup more food and alcohol there was! We sat in the cocktail bar and ordered a range of food to share including:  
·         betel leaves with smoked fish, chicken & roasted coconut salad 14.50
·         prawn & glass noodle firecrackers with avocado & coriander sauce 14.50
·         penang lamb & eggplant curry 25.50
·         One other dish which I unfortunately cannot remember!
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Dinner and drinks at Cookie
We also each ordered cocktails (mine was called the ‘Snow White’) and all of them were absolutely superb – as was the food - simply divine and great value for money.

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The 'Snow White' 
After dinner, cocktails and a few G&T’s we headed upstairs for a quick dance before our sleepy eyes saw us head home.
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St Kilda
Day 3:
What better way to start the day than breakfast and a wander at St Kilda. We went to Rococo’s which was the perfect place for people watching. A stroll by the water and a sit in the sunshine quickly followed before we were on our way to check out the city for a couple of hours.

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Street Art in Melbourne City
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Chillin' in St Kilda
As everyone knows Saturday night is party night and man were we ready for it! Pre-drinks and dinner were served up at home as we partook in the perfected art of grooming. Make-up, outfits, hair, nails…girly girls we are.

Then we hit Hoo Har on Chapel St.

Drinks flowed, dancing happened and catch ups with new and old friends too - a super fun night was had by all and whilst there were a couple of headaches the next morning it was nothing a bit of bacon couldn’t fix.
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Hoo Haa
So that brings me to…

Day 4:
Did the time really go that fast already? We nursed ourselves with a sleep in and a cook up at home before packing our things and visiting Grapeseed in Armadale for one last treat. Then we drove to Brighton Beach and got our tourist on posing for cheesy pictures against the backdrop of colourful shacks. It had to be done!
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Family photos
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The trip to the airport came way too soon and although we entirely exhausted ourselves I would do it all again in a heartbeat. So that’s a recap of my weekend – what did you get up to? And have you been to Melbourne? Where should I put on my list for next time?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A-dressing a dilemma – How do I layer?

In the midst of the increasingly unpredictable weather, Australia has finally welcomed autumn - better late than never as in all honestly I’m tired of having to decide if I should slather on some St Tropez and don a dress or if it really is time to invest in some new tights and a knitted jumper.

Traditionally, the season where many of us don a uniform of opaque tights, ankle boots and a slash of wine coloured lippy, Autumn generally calls for layering.

But what do you do if you simply don’t know how to layer? Or if your wardrobe full of bright, floral summer dresses just doesn’t work with the darker, moodier looks we are told we should be wearing?

This is the dilemma I have almost every single year. Despite spending hours pinning potential outfit inspiration on Pinterest I still have little idea how to put together an autumn/winter look without being mistaken for a Hobo or a *ahem* slightly larger version of myself.  

But after a bit of research (ok so I read this old post on Man Repeller and this post by Nikki at Styling You) I’m ready to give it a go and it couldn’t be more accurately timed as I’m heading to Melbourne for a long weekend!

So where to begin?

Step 1: Pull on your favourite pair of jeans or a long maxi skirt if that’s your thing and pair it with a body-hugging singlet or soft tee. Alternatively you could go with a dress and a cute pair of tights.

Step 2: Add you second layer – perhaps a long sleeved shirt or a button blouse. You can even add two if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.

Step 3: A wool cardigan or jumper will keep you ultra cosy and there are loads of cute ones around this season…I love this one from Topshop.

Step 4: Grab a jacket, a blazer, or if it’s really cold – dust off that winter coats and pop it on.

Step 5: Accessorise! Pop on some boots (I just bought this pair of ankle boots online and cannot wait to take them for a spin) and complete your look with a scarf, a beanie or hat if you desire – heck even gloves and a pair of earmuffs if you need. Don’t’ forget your jewellery either as you’ll no doubt have to peel off some of those layers later on.

A great use of colour!
It sounds very easy when you list it out but pulling off layers really is a bit trickier than it seems. A few tips I’ve picked up include sticking to garments that are similarly coloured so you avoid looking like a unicorn threw up on you and of course avoiding bulky or heavy fabrics. Also, if you’re wearing a dress make sure to belt it the hell up and show off that waist of yours!

Hopefully these tips will give you something to think about as it gets a little cooler down under…and if you have any other tips please feel free to let me know.

Xx Kirst
Disclaimer: I first developed the "A-dressing a Dilemma’ series for my previous blog and really enjoyed writing it. This is its debut on Adventures in Colour so I hope you enjoy it! All image sources can be found via my Pinterest account. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

10 things to do in Brisbane this weekend

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything exciting? If you haven’t got anything locked in as yet and you’re in or around the Brisbane area why not do a little exploring and samples some local flavours. Here is a list of some of my favourite things to do in Brisbane on a weekend.
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1. Farmers Markets. Thanks to our fantastic weather most of the year Queensland has excellent fresh produce and thankfully you can get your hands on it at one of Brisbane’s many farmers markets.  Fresh and tasty fruit and veg can be found at West End MarketsNorthey St Markets and Jan Power Markets to name a few. You’ll also find an array of gourmet and local sellers
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2. Southbank. Adored by families and backpackers for years, Southbank has undergone a steady transformation from a site aimed at tourists to a destination for great food, a beautiful city view and a little bit of culture too. You can enjoy a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants (a favourite is French Martini and I’m dying to try Next door Kitchen and Bar), take a wander along the river or got to a show at QPAC. And of course if the weather heats up there is still the chlorinated man-made beach…
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3. Explore on wheels. Brisbane is actually blessed to have a huge network of bike paths and cycling is becoming increasingly more popular (and accepted) on the roads. Why not dust off that fixie and explore the local parks or even do a ‘river loop’. If you don’t own a bike, borrow a helmet and sign yourself up for the the Brisbane City Council’s CityCycle Scheme. There are bikes located around the CBD and areas including Toowong, Newfarm, Teneriffe and plenty of other suburbs - the potential for exploring is unlimited!
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4. Newfarm Park. One of my favourite things to do is jump on a city cat and ride all the way to Newfarm Park. Some of my fondest childhood memories were spent here (including when the fire brigade had to come and rescue a boy who had climbed too far up one of the huge old trees and got stuck). It’s great for picnics, exercise, lazying about with a loved one or for some simple solitude.In the summertime ther's open air cinema and there's always plenty on at the Powerhouse too!  
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5. The Valley is probably Brisbane’s favourite destination for a night out. Once the red light district it’s now home to designer boutiques, award winning cocktail bars and a whole host of clubs. This Saturday night, why not can take a trip to Hawaii at Alfred and Constance, dance all night at Blackbear Lodge and enjoy some relaxed people watching at Kerbside…be sure to look your best!
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6. Go fossicking.  Paddington Antique Centre is a treasure trove of pre-loved furniture, vintage clothing and second-hand goods. I can spend hours in there browsing and a lot of willpower avoiding the temptation to buy! They also have a little café inside with a tea and cupcake special if you need some sustenance whilst shopping!
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7. Woolloongabba is another hotspot for eating out in Brisbane with Pearl Café, The Crosstown Eating House and Canvas some of Brisbane most beloved spots. The Woolloongabba Antique Centre offers up perhaps even more gems than its Paddington counterpart and is a fun place to spend an afternoon working your way through previous decades

8. Get high. If you’re in the mood for a quiet or even romantic evening out, take a drive up to Mt Cootha lookout and see the city sparkle in all her glory. Yes it’s a bit touristy but it does actually make you appreciate what a lovely city we live in.

9. James St is the perfect place to grab a smoothie, take a stroll, get some designer clobber and do a spot of people watching. If you’re a bit of a masterchef make sure you check out the quality produce at James St Market but if an evening adventure is more your style the astroturf outside Sixes and Sevens will no doubt entice you in for a cocktail or three…beware of the hipsters though.
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10. But wait there's more. Finally I’m going to say that whilst Brisbane has loads of great stuff going on one of the best things about it is being able to easily escape the hustle and bustle for a weekend.  Head North for Brissy and you’ve a whole host of Sunshine Coast beaches and hinterland to choose from. 45 minutes south and you can be laying on a Gold Coast beach…drive a bit further south and you can relax and rejuvenate (or party) in Byron Bay or Bangalow. You can even catch a ferry to Stradbroke Island or Moreton island to really escape it all. We really are smack bang in the middle of a whole lot of wonderful.
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So get out and have some adventures already!!
Xx Kirst

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lady Marmalade...she's a fine dame

This weekend, my boyfriend and I ventured across town to Lady Marmalade at Stones Corner for sunday breakfast.

Another cafe on my list of 'Resol-funs' I've been meaning to visit this place for years and I'm so glad we  finally 'crossed the river' to do so.

We ordered a B-H-T (Bacon, Haloumi and Tomato) and the special of Baked Eggs, Greens and Asparagus, Sourdough and Hollandaise as well as a slice of Banana bread to share along with a latte and English Breakfast tea. Then we settled in to enjoy the Brisbane sunshine and do a spot of people watching - an excellent activity considering the crowds were snaking out the door and locals were jostling for tables.

Our meals came out quickly and all were fresh, super yummy, and left us wanting more. I was very tempted to take home some of the amazing looking baked treats on show at the counter but managed to control myself.

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Sunday's Special

The Boyfriend preferred the Special to the B-H-T but honestly it had me at hello with the cocktail umbrella holding it together...how could anyone not love it?!! 

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The Famous -B-H-T 
After breakfast we enjoyed wandering around the crazy dollar shops Stones Corner is known for as well as a great local bookstore. 

Lady Marmalade is definitely a new favourite breakfast spot for me (I've already booked a tentative return date with a girlfriend) and if you're a Brisbane local you should definitely check it out if you haven't already. 

And that's another one off my list...25 down...31 to go (the list may have grown a little.

Happy eating!

xx Kirst

  Lady Marmalade Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Make-up Monday - What I'm loving right now

I am the first to admit I am a beauty junkie. It all started as a child, I’d watch my mum put her make up on, then sneak off with her lipstick to turn myself into a 5-year-old beauty pageant lookalike. Naturally, I also enjoyed ‘beautifying’ cupboard, mirrors and walls but those are stories for another time.

The transformative power of make-up is no secret but I personally believe it extends way beyond physical appearance. Make-up can leave you feeling more confident and beautiful, it can perk you up if you’re down or not feeling the best and it can allow you to show different sides of your personality from cute and girly to vampish and seductive. Afterall what girl doesn’t feel powerful when she wears a red lip? 

A have lots of love for many products but if I had to choose my favourite products of the moment – the list would look something like this:

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1. Moisturiser. A girl can not live without moisturiser and although I like to try different products – always oil-free – I always seem to come back to Neutrogena Oil-free for Sensitive Skin and Aveno Oil-free Moisturiser. Both are really lovely on your skin and deliver great value for money. I’m not a huge fan of heavily fragrant creams either so these are perfect for me. 

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2.  Clarisonic Mia. I bought my Clarisonic Mia last year after reading rave reviews online and my skin has never been better (which says a lot because I have always, always had problem skin). The Clarisonic gives you a really deep but gentle clean and has recently been reduced in price! If you have difficult skin that is prone to breakouts or clogged pores or if your skin is a little dull this little beauty can be a real life saver.
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3. Hair - Ok first up let's talk Dry shampoo. What the heck did we do before this invention? I have been using Dry Shampoo for about 6 or 7 years now and I don’t believe I will ever stop. It gets rid of oily roots, adds volume and texture to your hair and is perfect for in-between washes. I have tried pretty much every brand on the market but I think Batiste is really the best value for money and it comes in the cutest cans. I recently discovered that the HUGE bottle of Batiste is now available at David Jones and certain Priceline stores in Australia which means fewer trips to the shop to repurchase and perfect looking hair more often! Jump to it if you haven't tried it yet. Morroccon Oil is also a must to keep hair (especially bleached hair) nourished and if you can get your hands on a Tangle Teezer I will say do it! My hair has a lot less breakage since I started using mine.
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4. Lucas Paw Paw Ointment. Got chapped lips? A cut? Perhaps some dry spots on your hands from a harsh winter? Pop some paw-paw on it overnight and voila! The next morning it is all healed up and lovely again. There is a reason Aussie expats ask their friends, sisters and mums to send them Lucas Paw-Paw ointment while abroad. It is magical, magical stuff.

5. Nars Blush – in Orgasm. It’s the world’s most popular blush for a reason! A gorgeous and shimmery pinky coral that works well on all skin types. The Nars brushes are incredible because they are so pigmented which means you don't need a lot and they last for ages on the skin. Well worth the investment if you ask me. I buy my Nars products online from HQHair as it's a bit cheaper than Australian prices - the shipping does take a while though so just be aware of that. You can also buy them at Mecca Cosmetica

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6. Foundation – This is a tough one as there are so many beautiful ones out there. I will say that it is hard to find great oil-free Foundations but after a great deal of exploration a few of my favourites are Nars Sheer Glow Foundation which offers highly pigmented but light coverage – great if you’ve got a bit of redness or skin discolouration. MAC Studio Fix Foundation is super long-lasting and looks amazing in photos but you have to be careful with application - too much can make it look like you're wearing a mask.  I recently purchased Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation and it is gorgeous - it feels super light on the skin, but offers great coverage and is easy to apply with your fingers (must use a primer with it though). If you’re searching for a more inexpensive Foundation I can not go past Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation. It makes your skin look young and fresh and gives a beautiful dewy glow which is perfect if you''re feeling a little 'blurgh' or if your skin is looking a but lacklustre.

7. Lipsticks - How can a girl choose a favourite?? For everday wear I would go with the gorgeous shimmery goldy peach that is MAC Lipstick in Bombshell. Girly pinks I love include MAC Chatter-box and one from Loreal Colour Riche Lipstick which I unfortunately can't remember the name of. If you live in Australia, I'd highly recommend you try the Face of Australia and Australis brand Lipsticks. They are brilliantly priced, come in a great range of colours and both brands deliver long-lasting and nourishing lip colour. My faves are Face of Australia Lip-quenching SPF30+ lipstick in 'Malibu Barbie' and Australis Colour Inject lipstick in 'Flamenco' and 'Salsa'. As you can probably tell - I like a bright lip!

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8. Eyeliner Maybelline Black Gel Eye-liner. I have no idea how I got by before I found this product. I had previously used Chanel liquid liner and eyeliners from Clinique and Rimmel and although they are great and I still use the Rimmel ones I don't think anything has the lasting power and colour intensity of gel liner. If you want your liner to stay put, buy this. Perhaps not perfect for everday wear but by god it goes the distance. You may wish to purchase a slightly better brush than the one supplied but it's not 100% necessary.

9. Mascara Rimmel Scandal Eyes Mascara or Rimmel Glam Eye Day 2 Night Mascara are probably my favourite mascaras. I like big bold lashes and these two always do the trick. Day 2 Night does a particularly great job of lengthening your lashes so I couldn't recommend it more! 

10. Perfume - Finally, my two favourite scents at the Moment are Chloe Eau de Parfum and Stella McArtney Stella perfume. I've been wearing Stella since it was first launched and I still adore it's beautiful rose fragrance. Chloe has also been a favourite for about 2 years now - I love how fresh and sumemry it smells and it always makes me happy when I wear it.

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So that's the end of the wrap up - did you make it all the way through? Congratulations and thank you  if you did!  Now tell me - what are your beauty essentials at the moment? 

xx Kirst