35 New York street savvy

Every city has a set of unwritten rules around what to wear, how to act and when to do things. Inadvertent failure to follow these rules quickly marks you as a foreigner while careful observation and practice can have you looking like a local in no time. I studied quickly when we moved here over a year ago and can now pass for a New Yorker... until I open my mouth that is. So what do I need to do I can hear you asking? 

Only be out on the street before 10am if you're walking a cute little dog, returning from yoga/pilates/spin/bar method class or getting home from a fabulous night out (smudgy make-up a must)

If you're brunching, make sure it's not before 1pm and dinner... Well, that should be closer to 9pm or 10pm (all the better to fit in more pre-dinner drinks darling)

Wear skinny jeans with coloured Toms or Tory Burch flats (substitute Hunter Wellingtons and Ugg boots in winter) and only carry handbags from Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Mulberry or Coach

Don't wait on the sidewalk for the lights to change; stand on the street and cross while the traffic is flowing (time is money people)

Always be talking - to the person you're with, to someone on the phone (headset only, no hands) and failing either of those, sing to yourself (at least people will give you a wider berth)

If you're wearing heels, catch a cab or carry your Jimmy Choo/Louboutin/Prada babies in your designer handbag and change out of your flats on the street

Never make eye contact. Should you mistakenly do so, make sure you have your Victoria Beckham poker face on

Sigh loudly (or tutt) when walking behind tourists and then make sure to power-walk past them (you have somewhere far more important to be... like in front of them in the line at Magnolia for a sugar hit)

When hailing a cab, stand with your arm languidly raised and don't jump at the chorus of horns when they cross four lanes of traffic to get to you

If you do all those things (as I quickly learned to*), you'll fit right in. Only issue is that you'll be found out when people stop you to ask for directions...

From New York, with love xox

* Apart from the Ugg boots. In Australia, where Ugg boots are from, we firmly believe they are indoor wear only 

21 Ghost forest

One of the things I realized when I was back home in Australia is how much of an outdoors girl I am. My favourite things to do are horseriding, rock-climbing, beach walking and bike riding... all followed by brunch a good skinny latte somewhere of course.

Turns out I can indulge my love for the outdoors just a short train ride away from NYC (90 minutes to be exact!). Last weekend we went hiking through the Franny Reese State Park out near Poughkeepsie. The trees were bare, an icy wind was blowing and a weak sun peeked out sporadically from behind the clouds. It was somewhat eerie walking through a forest with no leaves (for an Aussie girl!) but beautiful, despite the fact I was on bear alert the whole way...

... I should have been more wary of a cute little dog called Sammy, who raced up to us growling fiercely and then bit my hiking pants. Hmmm. Guess it was better than seeing a bear (or a snake if we were in Australia!).

From New York, with love xox

25 A vintage affair

I remember when I used to play dress-up out of my mum's wardrobe, trying on her floaty skirts and fitted frocks, pairing them with high-heels that I would nearly fall over in and liberally accenting my neck and arms with pieces of vintage jewellery from Poland. Mum would get her camera out and photograph me in my various sartorial creations and I would pose my heart out; looking serious is one shot, smiling in the next and laughing in the one after that.

It's easy to recapture that feeling of dress-up at The Brooklyn flea market, only on a larger, grander and more adult scale. In winter, the market is held in Fort Greene at the former Williamsburg Savings Bank in a gorgeous set of rooms. There are plenty of clothes, shoes, trinkets and sparkly jewels to ooh and ahh over as you make your way from the original bank vaults on the lower level to what used to be secret rooms upstairs in the mezzanine.

While we didn't pick up any vintage bargains it was fun to wander around, imagining the previous lives of the pretty cocktail dresses, trying on hats and glasses and of course people watching... it's fun to be back in NYC!

From New York, with love xox

PS. Head over and visit the lovely Vanisha's life in Australia today to check out what I like to do on my perfect day in NYC

21 I love a sunburnt country

I love a sunburnt country | A land of sweeping plains
Of ragged mountain ranges | Of droughts and flooding rains
I love her far horizons | I love her jewel sea
Her beauty and her terror | The wide brown land for me!
(Excerpt from 'My Country' by Dorothea McKellar)

I have to admit I may have cried a tear (or a few) as the plane climbed to cruising height yesterday (or the day before). Bye bye beach, sunshine, good coffee, wonderful friends and most importantly - family. It has been an amazing couple of months in Australia. I feel so incredibly fortunate that I was able to be around to support someone I love through cancer treatment (which is going well), spend time with both mine and lovely husband C's family and catch up with friends on both sides of the country. All good things must come to an end though, however, before they do, I flicked through all my photos one last time. 

I love the golden light in Australia - it's one of the things I miss most when I'm away, so perhaps that's why I tried to photograph it so many times. It almost looks like you could capture some sunshine in a little bottle (which would come in handy given I have the last few weeks of the NYC winter to get through now!) 

From New York, with love xox

21 Dear lovely husband C.

Want to move to a farmhouse in the country with a climbing rose on the wall, an apple orchard, a horse and two dogs?

From me, with lots of love xox

PS. I'd love to say I'd created this for you myself, but I found it painted on a wall in Subi.

18 A royal park

Kings Park is one of my favourite places to go in Perth. It's perched high on a hill and has a wonderful view of the city, the Darling Ranges and the Swan river. Its jewel green lawns are perfect for a spending the day lying on a rug under a shady tree reading books, an evening picnic or a lazy  walk after work. Since yesterday was my last night in Perth (I'm flying back to NYC via a couple of days in Melbourne) Kings Park was the perfect place for one last dinner with my family.

On a different note, as I was finishing up writing this post Mum brought me a freshly squeezed orange, apple and carrot juice with a sugar coated lemon as garnish... why am I leaving again!?

Happy weekend, I hope you have a lovely one wherever in the world you are!

From Perth, with love xox

33 The Pinnacles Desert

With the exception of Yallingup/Margaret River, I have very rarely travelled in Western Australia, typically choosing instead to head to the sights, sounds and smells of Asia. On this trip back home, we decided to play the tourists in our own state, so we packed ourselves into the car for a daytrip to the Pinnacles Desert north of Perth. The drive only takes a couple of hours on a long, straight road by the coast (although it took us closer to three given my frequent requirement for photo-stops). 

It was - in a word - amazing. The horizon shimmered as the sun beat down, the colours were beautifully vibrant and the landscape bordered on surreal. Some of the limestone pillars were almost 4 metres tall, while others were so small you could accidentally trip over them. I have to admit there were times when I felt a bit Sex and the City-esque (movie number two that is), striding through the sand with my jewel coloured maxi-skirt and multi-coloured head scarf billowing behind me.

We did the drive back just before twilight, stopping in Guilderton for fish and chips eaten straight out of the paper wrapping on the beach. It was all so wonderfully Australian. Tell me, what's a typical day trip where you live*?

From Perth, with love xox

* Note... I may be subtly gathering tips on where in the world to visit next!

27 NYC bound

Well, it's done. My ticket back to NYC is booked and I have a limited number of beach-walking and bike-riding days left... so limited I can count them on two hands.

I'm going from this*...

... back to this**

Hmmm. Both completely different and completely amazing in their own ways.

I'm SO looking forward to seeing lovely husband C. again (he flew back two weeks ago), eating chocolate cupcakes from Molly's and brunching at Jeffrey's Grocery but... I'm going to miss my people, the glorious weather, the beach and drinking really good coffee (by the beach of course!).

From Perth, with love xox

* This is what the beaches actually look like - I've been taking photos on my i-phone and sending them daily to lovely husband C. so he can see what he's missing out on... having seen the photos together like this, I may stop this practice as it seems a little jealousy inducing
** NYC photos taken by lovely husband C.