8 Two years ago today

Lovely husband C. and I got married by the river in Perth, surrounded by our family and closest friends. Our wedding was everything we wanted it to be – elegant, intimate and relaxed. My favourite moment was when we sat down together for a minute amidst the wonderful chaos that is a wedding and just took it in. Everyone we loved, all in one room, celebrating our love and our promises to one another.

Photos by the amazing Angela Higgins
Makeup by the most fantastic Lisa Chester
Dress, veil and fascinator by Izaro
The last two years have been amazing… we've hiked in the Australian outback together, explored New Zealand, started a business, moved our lives to New York, danced at a wedding in Poland, supported and encouraged each other and laughed until we cried more times than I can count.

Happy Anniversary C., love you  

From Perth, with love xox

8 Christmas... Aussie style

While a white Christmas seems wonderfully romantic, an Australian Christmas is pretty special. Particularly in Perth, where each Christmas day is predictably perfect – blue skies, sunshine and a cool breeze by the evening. This year was no different, so after a lovely breakfast on Christmas Day, we grabbed our hats, slathered on some sunscreen and headed to the beach to build sandcastles with two of our gorgeous nieces.

- Ready for food... 'where is everyone?'
- Christmas morning breakfast in progress -
- Getting into presents on Christmas morning -
- Lovely husband C. enjoying the girls' presents -
- And... time for the beach. Lovely husband C. diving for the catch -
- Having fun boogie boarding -
- Little L. supervising the sandcastle building... little J. doing the decorating -
Wherever you were celebrating in the world, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas full of joy, love and laughter.

From Perth, with love xox

10 Engaging Stories

One of my most fabulous friends – M. from Melbourne – just got engaged. Her gorgeous husband-to-be took her out to dinner where they'd had their first date and at the end of the evening popped the question. I screamed when I heard the news, then did a little dance on the spot at the department store I was in while lovely husband C. pretended not to know me. M. and A. are perfect together. They 'fit' each other so naturally and beautifully that it feels impossible that they were ever apart and right that they never will be again. I can't wait to cry at their wedding (…I get a little emotional) and laugh and dance at their reception next year.

Getting engaged is wonderful. It's so hard to adequately capture in words all the emotions tied up in that one incredible moment. When lovely husband C. asked me to marry him (in Polish, which he doesn't speak … he went through some intense coaching with my Dad), I smiled for a millisecond, said yes in the next heart beat and then sobbed for 15 minutes straight, amazed that this wonderful man wanted to spend the rest of his life with me...  

- Our engagement and wedding rings -
Photos by the lovely and exceptionally talented Angela Higgins
Rings designed and made by the fantastic Simon West
… And that he wanted to do so even after we'd travelled around Europe for a couple of months. We got engaged on a rooftop in Vernazza in the Cinque Terre in Italy. Think pastel coloured buildings, steep cobble-stoned streets, the last rays of sunshine glittering off an aquamarine ocean as the sun set, the sound of waves drifting to you in snatches on the breeze and the crisp taste of local wine in your mouth chasing down a slice of the most perfect margherita pizza. It was incredible.

Our two year wedding anniversary is coming up in the next few days so I'm likely to continue reminiscing … in the meantime, what's your love story? I'd love to hear it if you'd like to share!

From Perth, with love xox

11 How long can you do 'New Yorker' in Perth?

About 24 hours as it turns out. I kept my summer New York clothes, attitude and makeup on for one whole day before I went back to being a Perth girl. I've reconnected with the version of me that spends time outdoors, exercises everyday and actually cooks in a kitchen rather than eating in a restaurant or ordering off a takeaway menu.

- Remember the South Beach Miami sign here -
- Back at home on the beach in Scarborough (rugged up early morning) -
- Have you ever seen sky so blue? -
- A lovely, lovely coffee -

There are some other ways that my Perth life differs from my New York life...

... Instead of waking up at 11am and heading out for a lazy brunch at 1pm, I now wake up around 6am* and head to the beach for a walk

... Walking along the street I was completely disarmed when someone smiled at me and said 'hey, how ya goin'?', stopping my New York ready stern-poker-face in its tracks

... My thongs ('flip flops' for all my American friends) are getting more use than my Hugo Boss gladiator sandals and my Coach jeweled flats

... Perth has upped its stakes in the coffee game making my morning coffee a pleasure to drink rather than just a caffeinated necessity… although perhaps I've lowered my coffee snob standards!

... I no longer use public transport… the only way to get around Perth is in a car and I've re-adapted quite quickly

It's been fun getting back into the laid-back, easy and casual swing of things in Perth. It feels like there's an endless summer stretching before me and you can expect to see too many more photos of perfect Perth beaches coming up.

From Perth, with love xox

* Although that could just be the remnants of jet lag!

7 Curve ball

- Scarborough Beach, Perth Western Australia -
Yesterday I watched the sun go down… in Perth, Australia. Yes, you read that right. I flew out of New York a couple of days ago rugged up against the cold and yesterday evening I stood on a Perth beach in shorts, watching the sky change as the sun slowly sank into the sea.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know this is a big change of holiday plans. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball - catching this one has taken me right to Perth for the next couple of months to support someone I love through treatment for cancer.

I'm exchanging my white Christmas for my third summer in a row (Melbourne, New York and now Perth all in the same year), yummy home cooked meals, morning walks on the beach and lots of time with family and old friends... I have to say, although it's unexpected and I wish the circumstances were different, it's lovely to be back in Australia.

From Perth, with love xox

7 Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

It seems as if the very second Thanksgiving was over, Christmas decorations burst out of their boxes and draped themselves beautifully over everything in the City. There's twinkling lights on every tree, wreaths of holly on every door, (real) Christmas trees for sale on every corner and poinsettias in every florist. It looks fabulously festive and has me itching to buy my very own Christmas tree to decorate… if only we could carry it up four flights of stairs!

What's the next best thing to having my own Christmas tree? Visiting the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree of course - a 23m high marvel of twinkling fairy lights topped by a sparking Swarovski crystal star. My fabulous friend M. from Melbourne was staying with us last weekend, so we put on our tourist hats and took ourselves and our cameras off to admire it late on Saturday night after an amazing dinner in Tribeca (more about that later).

The magic of Christmas was definitely in the air. We needed to go ice-skating to make the night complete... unfortunately I was the only one that felt that way!

From New York, with love xox

8 Food, fabulous food!

I remember someone who was planning to visit Perth (my original home town) asked me what they should do while they were there. I recommended a full list of things for them to try, which on later reflection I realized was built around food, food and more food. The conversation went something like "…visit this cafĂ© for their eggs benedict, that restaurant for the fresh fish, this area for the chocolate factory, at the beach get fish and chips here, you must try this ice cream..." 

It's no surprise then that food played a big part in our Miami trip. We had our traditional Thanksgiving dinner in a non-traditional setting, poolside at the Raleigh Hotel which is most recently famous for being LiLo's chosen hotel in Miami (and absolutely not a factor in our decision to eat there!). We ate souvlaki late one night, sitting outside and people watching.  My favourite meal was definitely Friday evening, eating small tasting plates of fresh seafood, practically on the beach and watching the sky change colour as the sun set… perfection.

So if you're in Miami, I recommend a visit Dilido Beach Club at the Ritz Carlton, which makes food that's too pretty to eat… almost!

Happy weekend!

From New York, with love xox